THERE were 55 items handed in to Dyfed-Powys Police during recent firearms surrender campaign, Op Aztec, across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
The operation was part of a national two-week effort to remove illegal and unwanted weapons off the streets and keep them out of criminal hands. Among the items surrendered were 24 shotguns, 14 lots of ammunition, six air rifles, five air pistols, three pistols, one rifle and one stun gun.
Superintendent Jon Cummins, Head of Specialist Operations for Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “We are fortunate that gun crime isn’t something we deal with often in Dyfed-Powys Police. However, guns and ammunition don’t recognise borders. Thankfully these weapons are no longer at risk of falling in to the wrong hands.
“One gun off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities. We will continue to use all of the powers and information available to us to locate this criminality and put a stop to it for good.”
Those who handed in weapons and ammunition during the amnesty won’t face prosecution for possession. The force doesn’t suspect these guns are linked to crime, but will now send them for forensic testing. Any linked to crime will be kept as evidence for any future court case proceedings – the rest will be destroyed.
In November 2017, Dyfed-Powys Police had 189 firearms and 63 lots of ammunition handed in. This accounted for 3% of the total number of items surrendered by forces in England and Wales during the campaign period.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) co-ordinates national firearms surrenders. They say that working together with UK police forces they are determined to carry on suppressing the threat:
“Latest crime statistics from the ONS show that generally gun crime is down. Gun crime levels in the UK compared to other places in Europe are extremely low; however we cannot be complacent about the continued threat to our communities from criminals with access to Firearms.
“These surrenders are one way to show the public how seriously we take this issue. We want to get as many illegal or unlicensed firearms out of circulation and off the streets as possible. One gun in the wrong hands can have catastrophic consequences.” Said a NABIS spokesperson.
If you have any information about gun crime you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.
Visit the Dyfed-Powys Police website for information about Firearms Licensing: https://www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/en/licensing-courses-and-certificates/firearms-explosives-and-shotgun-certificates-licensing/
Image attribution: St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]