The ultimate opportunity to protect your loved ones and community starts next week with police weapons surrender.
Monday sees start of the fortnight long amnesty in a bid to remove arms from South Yorkshire streets and stop them falling into wrong hands.
The force is launching the surrender to provide a method for people to dispose of any weapon safely and quickly, with no fear of being prosecuted for possession.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Whittaker explained: “Anyone who chooses to hand in a firearm or knife during the 14-day surrender, will not be prosecuted for possession, whether the weapon is illegally owned or if it’s just been passed down as a family heirloom and is no longer wanted.
“The type of weapons that can be handed in during the surrender include, but are not limited to, air weapons, BB guns, handguns, antique firearms, imitation firearms, ammunition, samurai swords, machetes, switchblades and daggers.”
The surrender begins at 12.01am on Monday and ends at 11.59pm on Sunday July 25. Immunity is provided against prosecution for possession at the time of surrendering the weapon but, if it is later found to have been used in previous criminal activity, it will be investigated by cops and could lead to potential prosecutions.
The weapons surrender is the first strand of a wider campaign created by the Force, to launch later this month, that will aim to raise awareness and increase knowledge of organised crime and armed criminality and how the public can help and anonymously report suspicious activity and behaviour.
DCI Whittaker added: “I want to make it very clear that the use of firearms and knives in South Yorkshire will not be tolerated, and while we acknowledge there has been an increase of these type of offences recorded, there are a vast array of both overt and covert operations already in progress to enable us to reduce the number of crimes in our county.
“However we do need the public’s assistance and information, and I would strongly encourage people to take advantage of the surrender and hand in any weapon that is unwanted or illegally owned; every gun and knife given up is one less that can end up in potential criminal circulation.
“If you have any information regarding the use of firearms or suspicious activity in your area, I would urge you to anonymously contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, who will treat your call with the utmost confidentiality and sensitivity.”
All weapons to be surrendered should be brought in to stations that have a public inquiry desk: Snig Hill, Moss Way and Ecclesfield in Sheffield, College Road in Doncaster, Churchfields in Barnsley and Main Street in Rotherham - check opening times at http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk site.
For further information regarding the surrender call SYP on 101.