POLICE are urging people in possession of guns and ammunition to surrender them as part of a two-week scheme which starts today (May 12).

The National Firearm Surrender campaign, coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, runs until the end of the month and includes all forces in the UK.

In Greater Manchester, people can surrender guns and ammunition at Stretford police station or one of 10 other police stations in the region.

Although one aim of the scheme is to crack down on crime, it also targets collectors, licence holders or even those who have inherited the lethal items from someone else.

Many of these people possess guns and ammunition illegally, especially as the relevant legislation is ever-changing.

And the consequences are extremely serious for those who are caught, with sentences of up to five years in prison.

Superintendent John Griffiths, of GMP’s Serious Crime Division, said: “We are absolutely committed to robustly investigating serious crime, specifically targeting those in possession or transferring firearms as they pose a real, serious threat to not only the Greater Manchester region, but all across the UK.

“Detectives across the force and those within our serious crime division investigate those involved in firearms on a daily basis and a 30 per cent drop in discharges over the last 12 months across the region is a testament of this – but there’s still work to do be done and we’re determined to rid these lethal weapons from our streets.

“This firearm surrender gives those with firearms and ammunition an opportunity to hand them in. Anyone who may have a firearm in their house that may have been inherited, or found, or is being kept for someone else, is urged to hand it to us and free themselves of the burden.

“Criminals who are in possession of firearms or ammunition are urged to hand their items over – this surrender is an opportunity to make the streets safer and if those involved in criminality don’t wish to hand the items over, it’s only a matter of time before we find them ourselves and bring you to justice.”

For information on the National Firearm Surrender campaign, go to nabis.police.uk.