Residents handed in more than 170 firearms and nearly 4,000 rounds of ammunition during Kent police’s firearms surrender.
The initiative which ran between Monday 21 January and Wednesday 6 February 2019 saw a total of 172 firearms and 3,857 rounds of ammunition being handed over to officers.
The campaign allowed people to dispose of unwanted or illegally held firearms or ammunition.
Originally the initiative was due to finish on Friday 1 February 2019 but owing to the success and response by the public officers made the decision to extend the surrender until Wednesday 6 February 2019.
Officers received various firearms as part of the initiative including pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles and air weapons.
Some of the most interesting items included a deactivated Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle which was handed in to officers on 24 January along with magazine and dummy rounds. Three Italian starting pistols and a Walther PPK blank firing replica pistol with some blank rounds were also surrendered.
On the first day of the campaign a Colt ‘New Service’ .445 calibre revolver was surrendered. This firearm was made in 1898 and had been used by British and Commonwealth forces until the end of the Second World War.
On 22 January, 12 firearms were handed in at North Kent station and of these three handguns, all revolvers; a Hopkins and Allen, a Webley Second World War service revolver and a Colt revolver, were viable live firing guns.
The Webley .380 calibre service revolver is believed to have been used in the First World War but may have been used in the Second World War.
Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Holmes said: ‘We had an excellent response to this year’s surrender. Many firearms are held innocently with owners unaware of their illegality, or are overlooked heirlooms forgotten in people’s homes.
‘The initiative gave residents the chance to hand in unwanted firearms ensuring that they were safely removed off the streets and preventing them from being acquired and distributed by criminal networks.
‘Every firearm off the streets is another weapon which has been prevented from being potentially used in criminal activity and potentially another life which has been saved, so I would like to thank all those residents who used the surrender as an opportunity to hand in their unwanted or illegally held firearms and ammunition.’
PSE 59727 Andrew Judd
Volunteer & Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer
South East Kent Police