Close to 150 firearms surrendered in gun amnesty

Almost 150 firearms have been handed in across the region as part of a police gun amnesty.

Between 12 and 29 May, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police collaborated together to deliver a firearms surrender campaign across the three counties.

The operation was part of a nationwide drive, where members of the public were encouraged to hand in any unwanted or illegal firearms, and not face prosecution for simple possession offences.

Some 143 firearms and more than 1,400 rounds of ammunition were surrendered to police across the three counties during the 18-day period.

In Bedfordshire, police recovered 13 weapons, including one viable original lethal purpose firearm. 

Chief Superintendent Matt Thompson, firearms surrender campaign lead for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, said: “This operation has seen a large number of weapons rendered safe from harm, including 58 viable firearms, many of which were more vulnerable to falling into the hands of criminals.

“Firearms incidents in our counties are thankfully rare occurrences, in no small part due to operations like this one, which demonstrates the continued willingness of the wider public to make such meaningful contributions to public safety.

"It also shows the flexibility of modern policing to take complex issues like the possession of potentially unlicensed firearms and apply pragmatic inclusive solutions.”

Amongst the firearms handed into police was a Frommer Stop self-loading pistol, a war trophy taken from a German prisoner in the closing stages of World War Two. It was surrendered in Hertfordshire.

While the vast majority of the surrendered firearms will all be subject to destruction, arrangements have been made for this rare handgun, which is classified as a section 5 firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act (unlawful to possess without very specific, strict authorities in England and Wales), to be transferred to the Ministry of Defence, who will add the pistol to their teaching collection.