The Metropolitan Police have launched a firearms surrender across London as gun crime in Hackney increases.
The Twitter hashtag #giveupyourgun encourages Londoners to hand in any guns or ammunition to their local police stations.
The scheme started yesterday and will end at 11:00pm on November 23. In particular the surrender focuses on the ownership of antique guns.
According to the Met’s figures, Gun crime has risen in Hackney by 27.6 per cent in the past year from 58 cases to 74. The figure for Tower Hamlets has stayed the same at 58 cases for both years. Although Lewisham and Croydon’s gun crime cases have fallen, both boroughs still have a high number of cases with Lewisham reporting 90 cases in in the 12 months to September 2014, down from 128 in the previous cycle, and Croydon reporting 75 in 2013-14 compared to 93 in 2012-13.
Those handing in weapons can chose to remain anonymous and may not face prosecution for illegal possession. However, each surrendered weapon will be forensically checked for evidence.
The Met say that Londoners giving up their unlawful or unwanted weapons will help stop guns ending up in the wrong hands. The last time such a Met scheme was launched in London was in 2008.
The surrender is taking place across the whole of the city; a map detailing local stations where weapons can be handed in can be found here.
Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Haydon, Head of Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “Our primary aim is keeping Londoners safe, we recognise the devastating impact of gun crime on those affected by it. The surrender provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of firearms in circulation on the streets of London.”
If anyone has information regarding gun crime you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or if you would like more information on the surrender you can contact your local police station.
Eastlondonlines also reported on the effect of the firearms surrender in Hackney.