West Midlands Police to take part in National firearms surrender
As part of West Midlands Police’s determination to tackle violent crime, the force is taking part in a national two week firearms surrender led by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
The surrender will run between Saturday 20 July and Saturday 4 August, encouraging members of the public to hand in any firearms , including guns, ammunition, stunguns and pepper spray to local police stations.
The last local surrender in May 2018 saw 115 firearms surrendered, comprising of over 30 lethal firearms and 45 air weapons. During the 2017 national surrender , more than 9,500 items were handed in across the country.
So far this year, the force has taken 46 viable firearms off the streets - this does not include firearms handed in to us - amid 68 confirmed firearms discharges in the same period.
Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, from force CID, said: "Previous gun surrenders have proved very successful in removing firearms from our streets and potentially avoided them getting into the hands of criminals.
“We have an excellent track record of putting criminals who cause fear before the courts and only last week three gang members were jailed for 40 years for firearms offences and earlier this month a man was jailed for eight years after a loaded gun was found in his car.
“Although enforcement activity is important, it is also vital that police, partners and the community work together to stop young people being involved in violent crime and gang activity before it gets to that stage.
"We realise that peer pressure, family breakdowns and many other factors can have a bearing on why a young person follows a gang lifestyle, when other opportunities could be explored with the right direction.
"Therefore I would urge anyone who is holding a gun, or knows anyone holding a gun, maybe through fear or misguided loyalty to someone else, to hand it in now, otherwise the alternative could be up to five years in prison.
“We also hope the surrender will stop unused shotguns or antique firearms - often World War relics gathering dust in loft spaces - from potentially falling into the hands of criminals. The surrender in 2017 saw one gentleman hand in 10 replica firearms along with ammunition, which belonged to his late uncle that he had been storing for years as he didn’t know what to do with them.
“Criminals can reactivate these guns and an ‘underground’ armourer provide bespoke ammunition - so please hand these in and don’t risk them falling into criminal hands.
“Help us tackle this kind of violence in our communities, and surrender your firearms ."
Weapons can be surrendered at any West Midlands Police station or by calling the force on 101 or via live chat on our website and arranging for officers to make home visits.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: "I welcome this campaign by West Midlands Police to tackle the problem of violent crime. The last firearms surrender saw more than 100 weapons handed in to police, many of which could have fallen into the wrong hands.
"This is an opportunity for people with firearms to stop, think and take positive action. Every weapon taken off the streets, is potentially a life saved.
“My message to anyone who has an unlicensed firearm is ‘do the right thing, hand it in’."
Guns can be surrendered anonymously but the history of live weapons handed in will be checked for any evidence of criminal use; the firearms will either be destroyed at the West Midlands Police armoury or retained for training exercises.
Guns can be taken to any one of the 10 police stations across the West Midlands but people are advised to check station opening times in advance.
To receive advice on how best to transport the weapon responsibly from home to the police station call 101 before travelling. Anyone unable to reach a police station is also advised to call 101 and arrangements can be made to collect the weapon.
If you suspect anyone to be involved in illegal firearms call West Midlands Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
All stations where firearms can be surrendered are open from 8am - 10pm except for Birmingham Central which is open 24 hours:
Coventry Little Park St, Coventry CV1 2JX
Wolverhampton Bilston Street, Wolverhampton
Bloxwich 1 Station St, Walsall WS3 2PD
Brierley Hill Bank St, Brierley Hill DY5 3DH
Birmingham Central Police Headquarters, Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Birmingham B4 6NQ
Sutton Coldfield Lichfield Rd, Sutton Coldfield B74 2NR
Stechford 338 Station Rd, Birmingham B33 8RR
Solihull Homer Rd, Solihull B91 3QL
West Bromwich West Bromwich B70 8HS
Bournville 341 Bournville Lane, Birmingham B30 1QX
Note to editors:
The terms ‘ surrender and amnesty’ are often interchangeable however, please note the difference between an amnesty and surrender is for the purposes of this operation:
• For the purposes of this operation the term ‘amnesty’ exists only at the ‘point of surrender ’ of the firearm to lawful authority and does not provide an amnesty for the lifetime of the firearm.
• We are seeking to be very clear to the public therefore that this is a ‘ Firearms Surrender ’ and not a general firearms amnesty for the lifetime of the firearm.