Gun amnesty launched in Wigan

Firearms recovered during a previous two-week gun amnesty by GMP
Firearms recovered during a previous two-week gun amnesty by GMP
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A gun amnesty has been launched in Wigan today in a latest bid to get deadly weapons off the borough streets.

While the area doesn’t have a major firearms problem, the two-week campaign was launched almost a year to the day since a man was gunned down and seriously injured in a drive-by shooting at a car wash in Bolton Road, Ashton.

If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life

GMP Asst Chief Constable John O’Hare

All of the North West’s police forces were today appealing for people to “Give up the Gun” with the surrender of firearms and ammunition starting at 7am.

It has been almost two years since the last firearms surrender, where forces ask members of the public to give unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to harm, threaten and intimidate their local communities.

Police say the surrender gives the chance to dispose of the firearm or ammunition with no questions asked, by simply taking it to a local police station and handing it in – before a police operation to retrieve them takes place.

The campaign lasts until 11.59pm on Monday April 18 and means that those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

GMP Asst Chief Constable John O’Hare said: “The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever and we are working with partners and our local communities to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity.

“We use various tactics to locate weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands – but we need the public’s help. We want as many weapons as possible and would encourage people to hand them in.

“If you know where a weapon is being kept illegally, now is your chance to give up the gun, or tell us anonymously where it is. You will not be prosecuted and you could save a life.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “Gun crime has cast a shadow over Greater Manchester in recent months and the work of GMP and partner agencies has shown that this will not be tolerated. But the actions of a minority will not diminish the ambition of the good, law-abiding people of this conurbation to make our neighbourhoods safer and protect our young people from criminality.”

Weapons and ammunition can be surrendered at the front desk of any police station but anyone handing in a firearm, ammunition or any other weapon during the surrender is advised to check the opening times of their station in advance by calling 101 or visiting the police website.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to £1,000 for information that lead to the recovery of a firearm and an arrest and conviction.