We are urging members of our rural communities to hand in unused guns and ammunition as part of a nation-wide firearms surrender which began on Saturday.
The surrender will run for two weeks, during which time weapons can be surrendered at six Lancashire police stations – Blackburn, Burnley, Blackpool, Lancaster, Ormskirk and Preston.
We know some people may have older items in their homes which have been overlooked or forgotten, or may have firearms which are no longer used. These can be lethal if they get into the wrong hands so officers are encouraging people to take this opportunity to dispose of them.
We also know some people may hold firearms in innocence or ignorance of their illegality; a stun gun type device or pepper spray bought on-line, for example.
Surrendering unwanted or unlicensed weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality and those wanting to get rid of them can know they are disposing of them in a safe place.
Anyone handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.
Inspector Nigel Barraclough from Lancashire Constabulary’s Tactical Operations department said: “Our aim is to keep Lancashire safe which we will do by working with partners and our local communities to prevent and detect crime.
“This nationwide surrender is a very good example of how members of the public can directly help us prevent harm to our local communities by removing the risk of weapons getting into the wrong hands.
“We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to use this opportunity to hand them in.”
Weapons and ammunition should be surrendered at the designated local police stations but people are advised to check opening times first by visiting Lancashire.police.uk. Anyone who is physically unable to get to a station can call 101 for advice.
If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, report it online at Lancashire.police.uk/report it or call 101.