NORTH Yorkshire Police is joining forces across the country in appealing for people to hand in unwanted guns with a two-week surrender of firearms and ammunition.

The surrender began on Saturday, July 20, and gives people the chance to dispose of firearms and ammunition by simply taking them to a local police station and handing them over.

Inspector Jon Naughton said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

“We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands, but we need the public’s help. We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.”

Police say although offences linked to firearms are extremely rare in North Yorkshire, many such weapons are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality – or are simply overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes.

Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.

The surrender will run until August 4. Surrendering unwanted, unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and means that members of the community can dispose of firearms in a safe place.

During that period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender.