Wiltshire Police are asking people to hand in unwanted or illegal weapons as part of a national firearms surrender.

From today (Thursday, May 12), you can hand in weapons - including reproductions - and ammunition to Salisbury police station.

Those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession at the point of surrender and can remain anonymous.

Police say that firearms are sometimes held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality, or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes, while others are acquired by criminal networks.

Some are held legally and are no longer required.

Changes to legislation also means that in some cases it is now illegal to own specific firearms without a license, if at all. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure they follow the law.

Wiltshire Police are urging the public to hand in unwanted, unlicensed, or illegal weapons, to help reduce the risk of criminal incidents.

It also means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

Weapons can be handed in at the front counter at the station at Bourne Hill, which is open from 8.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am-1pm on Saturday.

This is part of the national Op Aztec campaign, and the surrender will run until May 29.

Weapons may be also be handed in at Chippenham, Melksham, Swindon and Trowbridge police stations.

Sergeant Bill Monk, from Specialist Operations, said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we use a variety of tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands, but we need the public’s help.

"We want as many firearms as possible and would encourage people to hand them in at either Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Salisbury, or Swindon police stations during the opening hours shown on the force's website.

"Nationally, firearms crime remains low. However, there are still very serious incidents involving guns taking place and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate, and intervene at the earliest opportunity. 

"This two-week surrender is a campaign to prevent firearms from falling into the pool of criminally used weapons.”

If you know of anyone involved in illegal firearms, contact Wiltshire Police through the reporting section of the website or call 101.

You can also report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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