During the two-week campaign, which runs between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 4 August, members of the public are encouraged to surrender any unlicensed firearms and ammunition to the police by calling 101.
Chief Superintendent Catherine Akehurst, Firearms Surrender Campaign Lead for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this important national campaign which is an opportunity to dispose of weapons safely and with peace of mind. Any firearm in the wrong hands can have a devastating impact. If you or a family member has an illegal or unwanted firearm please take this opportunity to hand it in to the police.”
Anyone handing over firearms during the campaign will not face prosecution for possession of a weapon at the point of surrender. They can also remain anonymous if preferred. However, any surrendered weapons found to be linked to criminal activity will be investigated and appropriate action taken.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Fortunately there is very little gun-related crime in Hertfordshire, but that does not mean we can be complacent about this. As part of wider crime prevention and reduction initiatives, this firearms surrender campaign can only help make the county safer and continue to keep this type of crime low.”
Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls, for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “we are joining forces across the country to help people dispose of guns safely. The amnesty provides an opportunity for people who are in possession of a weapon they should not have or no longer want to dispose of them, without fear of prosecution for possession of a firearm.
"It is likely that there are people who are in possession of a firearm that they have inherited or that they have overlooked or forgotten about. Whatever the circumstances, the amnesty provides the opportunity to dispose of these unwanted firearms safely and with peace of mind. The more weapons we can take out of public circulation the safer our streets will be and it makes it less likely that they will fall in the wrong hands.”
The campaign is also an opportunity for members of the public to call 101 and find out how they can apply for certification in order to own a firearm legally.
The national firearms surrender campaign is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Clews, Head of NABIS, added: “Even though UK firearm offences remain at relatively low levels compared to other countries, we cannot be complacent and this surrender will help remove further potential harm from our communities.”
If you suspect anyone is involved with illegal firearms please call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Advice and support for young people is also available at www.fearless.org.