Scotland Yard has launched a two-week firearms amnesty across London in the aftermath of the Paris massacre.
The Metropolitan Police are urging people to surrender both real and imitation guns and will not prosecute or reveal the owner’s identity.
Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Croydon each have their own police station participating in the amnesty, which has been spread on social media with the hashtag #giveupyourgun
Detective Superintendent Stephen Clayman, Trident and Area Crime Command, said: “Last weekend’s tragic events in Paris have inevitably led to a heightened state of alert on the capital’s streets. Gun crime, whilst low in London compared with other world cities, has a devastating impact on communities.”
The amnesty started Monday morning at 07:00 and will finish at 23:00 on December 6. People can safely dispose of their firearms at 24-hour police stations in each borough.
— Lewisham Central SNT (@MPSLewishamCntl) November 23, 2015
Detective Chief Superintendent Joanne Chilton, Head of National Ballistics Intelligence Service, said: “Gun surrenders provide an important opportunity for people to hand firearms over to police to prevent them falling into the hands of criminals and endangering the public.” In the twelve months before September 2015 there were 1,723 gun related crimes reported across London, an 11.2 per cent increase on the previous year. Police have also asked those who possess imitation firearms, such as BB guns and air guns, to hand them in. Clayman said: “In an inappropriate setting, imitation weapons will cause fear and panic, and could lead to a police response involving the deployment of armed officers, with potentially tragic results.” A social media campaign launched by police aims to test your ability to identify fake or real guns. Using the hashtag #secondstodecide police will show how realistic imitation firearms can appear.
The Metropolitan Police have also introduced a site to display the weapons surrendered, featuring a map showing the locations of 24-hour police stations.