14 firearms handed in during first week of Warwickshire Police's firearms surrender

14 firearms have been handed in to Warwickshire Police in one week.

Warwickshire Police is continuing its firearms surrender this week in a bid to make the county's communities safer.

Firearms officers were called to the scene

Firearms officers were called to the scene

The campaign is part of a national initiative to reduce gun crime and runs across the force's policing area until August 4.

It gives anyone living in the area with a firearm the opportunity to surrender the weapon at their local police station.

People surrendering weapons will not be required to leave any information but if police suspect a weapon may have been involved in a crime, they will examine the gun for evidence.

During the first week of the campaign 14 firearms have been handed in at stations across Warwickshire, 13 of these were handed in in Leamington and one was handed in in Nuneaton.

Superintendent Mike Smith is keen to emphasise the danger of firearms falling into the wrong hands. He said: "Compared with other areas of the country we don't have a major gun problem, but we are keen to support this national campaign to help keep our communities safe.

"The whole aim is to remove any firearms that could potentially be used in a crime from public circulation. The majority of the firearms handed in 2017 during the last surrender were older items that the owner no longer needed and wanted to safely dispose of.

"People may have older or historical weapons stored in lofts or garages which have been inherited or passed down through the family, and these can also be disposed of during the surrender.

"While these are not being used for criminal activities, they can and sometimes do, fall into the wrong hands and can then be used to commit crimes.

"By participating in the surrender, people can be confident that items have been safely disposed of. Every firearm surrendered is one less weapon that can be used to commit crime.

"We're extremely pleased with the public's response so far and the support they have shown in helping us to make the region safer. The surrender ends on Sunday, and I would encourage as many people as possible to take this opportunity to hand in any unregistered firearms or firearms they no longer require during this time."

All surrendered weapons will be destroyed or in exceptional circumstances, where the weapon has historical value, donated to a museum.

To report any concerns about people in possession of firearms, please call the 101 non-emergency number or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, you can make an anonymous report to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website.