PEOPLE with illegally-held firearms are being offered the chance to hand them in to police, without the fear of being prosecuted.
Northumbria Police is asking people to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition after a recent change in firearms legislation.
From 8am today until the same time next Monday, anyone handing in weapons or ammunition will not face prosecution for any illegal possession.
People are also encouraged to hand in any replica firearms, ball bearing guns and air weapons, as well as imitation weapons and antiques, to prevent them falling into the wrong hands and being used to commit crime.
Forces across the country - including Durham and Cleveland - have held similar amnesties in support of a national crackdown.
Assistant Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “Northumbria doesn’t have the same issue with firearms as some other areas of the country – serious crimes involving firearms don’t happen very often.
“However, with the recent change in legislation, there was a national agreement that an amnesty would be an appropriate way of removing weapons from circulation.
“Similar amnesties are being held right across the country, and we’re taking part to encourage people to hand in weapons, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
“It gives people the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms with peace of mind in a secure environment.”
Items can be handed in at police stations in each area command – Gill Bridge in Sunderland, Millbank at South Shields, High Street West in Gateshead, Middle Engine Lane in North Tyneside, Etal Lane in Newcastle and Bedlington in Northumberland.
Police can be contacted on 101 ext 69191.