Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By SALINA PA­TEL salina.pa­tel@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Sali­naPa­tel1

“HAND it into po­lice be­fore your life gets ru­ined.”

That is the mes­sage from a woman cur­rently serv­ing five years in prison af­ter be­ing asked by her boyfriend to look af­ter a gun.

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice has re­leased a video high­light­ing the case as it launched a new cam­paign urg­ing peo­ple to give up your gun .

Peo­ple with the deadly weapon were urged to sur­ren­der their firearm at a lo­cal po­lice sta­tion, no ques­tions asked, be­tween be­tween February 6 and 12.

The cam­paign was launched af­ter an in­crease in gun dis­charges in the year up to Jan­uary 27, 2017 with 305 shots fired com­pared to 226 in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

How­ever the num­ber has re­duced in the past three months and is lower than five years ago where the fig­ure was 378 in 2011.

The one-week cam­paign aimed to re­move il­le­gal weapons from the streets of the cap­i­tal.

In the video, a voice por­tray­ing the woman, who po­lice are keep­ing anony­mous, says: “My boyfriend asked me to look af­ter a gun for him. “He told me I wouldn’t be in dan­ger I put my fam­ily’s life at risk. Ev­ery­one I lived with. Ev­ery­one I loved. I’m in prison for five years now.

“Hand it into po­lice be­fore your life gets ru­ined or some­one you love gets hurt.”Any­one with firearms, im­i­ta­tion weapons or am­mu­ni­tion as well as an­tique and de­com­mis­sioned weapons was able to hand them in to a 24-hour po­lice sta­tion last week and did not have to give their de­tails to of­fi­cers.

De­tec­tive chief su­per­in­ten­dent Jim Stok­ley, of the Met’s Tri­dent and Area Crime Com­mand, said: “Il­le­gal firearms cause noth­ing but mis­ery and dev­as­ta­tion.

“We are urg­ing any­one hold­ing an il­le­gal firearm to take up this op­por­tu­nity and hand it in to po­lice.

“Our aim is to re­move all il­le­gal firearms from the streets of Lon­don and we work re­lent­lessly to dis­rupt and ar­rest any­one sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in gun crime.

“If you hold on to an il­le­gal gun, you are putting your­self and your loved ones in dan­ger and you are likely to be ar­rested and face at least five years in jail.”

In May last year Tri­dent launched Op­er­a­tion Viper targeting ar­eas of high gun crime and of­fi­cers have worked with Mile­stone Foun­da­tion to steer young peo­ple away from firearms and into em­ploy­ment.

In the past two years, Met of­fi­cers have taken more than 1,400 firearms off the cap­i­tal’s streets, in­clud­ing 230 handed in dur­ing gun sur­ren­ders in Novem­ber 2014 and 2015.

If any­one has any in­for­ma­tion about some­one who they be­lieve is in pos­ses­sion of an il­le­gal gun, they can ring po­lice on 101 or call Crimestop­pers, anony­mously and free, on 0800 555 111.

Photo: Met Po­lice

Firearms of­fi­cers re­spond first to gun and weapon-re­lated in­ci­dents

Photo: Met Po­lice

The cam­paign video high­lighted the dan­gers of con­ceal­ing a gun for some­one

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