Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By CLAIRE HAR­RI­SON News Re­porter

GUNS can be handed into Nuneaton Po­lice Sta­tion dur­ing an amnesty to get il­le­gal and unwanted firearms off the streets.

Any­one with any firearms can sim­ply hand them in at the Vicarage Street-based sta­tion over the next two weeks as part of a na­tion­wide drive to cut gun crime.

Nuneaton has been cho­sen as one of just three sta­tions across War­wick­shire to be cho­sen to take part in the amnesty.

It is the brain­child of the Na­tional Bal­lis­tics In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice (NABIS) and all forces in Eng­land and Wales, in­clud­ing War­wick­shire Po­lice Force, is tak­ing part.

Dur­ing the last amnesty in 2014, 113 weapons were handed in across War­wick­shire, the vast ma­jor­ity of these were not be­ing used for crim­i­nal use. Chief In­spec­tor (CI) Mark Colquhoun ex­plained that while there is not a ‘sig­nif­i­cant’ gun crime prob­lem lo­cally, any firearm off the street is worth­while. “Com­pared with other ar­eas of the coun­try we don’t have a sig­nif­i­cant gun prob­lem, but we are keen to sup­port this na­tional cam­paign to help keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe. The whole aim is to re­move any firearms that could po­ten­tially be used in a crime from pub­lic cir­cu­la­tion,” CI Colquhoun said. “Our polic­ing area has a large num­ber of li­censed firearms own­ers, and this is also an op­por­tu­nity for them to hand in old weapons or guns they no longer re­quire. The ma­jor­ity of the firearms handed in dur­ing the last sur­ren­der were older items that the owner no longer needed and wanted to safely dis­pose of.

“Peo­ple may have older or his­tor­i­cal weapons stored in lofts or garages which have been in­her­ited or passed down through the fam­ily, and these can also be dis­posed of dur­ing the sur­ren­der. While these are not be­ing used for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties, they can and some­times do fall into the wrong hands and can then be used to com­mit crimes.

“By par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sur­ren­der, peo­ple can be con­fi­dent that items have been safely dis­posed of. Ev­ery firearm sur­ren­dered is one less weapon that can be used to com­mit crime.”

The amnesty will run un­til Sun­day, Novem­ber 26 and it has been stressed that peo­ple sur­ren­der­ing firearms will not need to leave any in­for­ma­tion but if po­lice sus­pect a weapon may have been in­volved in a crime, they will ex­am­ine it for ev­i­dence.

All sur­ren­dered weapons will be de­stroyed or in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, if it has his­tor­i­cal value, it may be do­nated to a mu­seum.

Mark Colquhoun The whole aim is to re­move any firearms that could po­ten­tially be used in crime from pub­lic cir­cu­la­tion.

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