176 firearms surrendered to Staffordshire Police in two weeks

Some of the firearms handed in during the two week surrender

176 firearms have been handed in during a two week surrender in Staffordshire.

They include 76 shotguns, 33 rifles, 27 handguns, 30 air weapons and 10 deactivated or blank firing weapons, which officers say will mean they cannot now fall into the wrong hands.

28 lots of ammunition and 7 lots of shotgun cartridges were also given in.

The surrender was part of a national campaign, which also saw 104 firearms given to officers in Cheshire.

The last surrender in Staffordshire in 2014 saw just over 200 firearms handed in.

Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe, head of prevention and early intervention, said: "We are fortunate to have very low levels of gun crime in Staffordshire, with just 44 firearms offences in the last 12 months. However we remain vigilant to the extreme risks of firearms and I offer my thanks on behalf of Staffordshire Police to all those that did hand over firearms.

"Although the surrender is over, if you didn't get around to handing yours in or you discover one in the future, please call 101 to arrange for us to collect it safely. In the meantime please keep it safe and hidden and handle it carefully if you must move it."

Superintendent Carl Ratcliffe with some of the weapons that have been surrendered

Every firearm that has been handed in will be checked against ballistic records in case it is linked to any past crimes.

The weapons will then be destroyed, and the metal and plastic recycled where possible.

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