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22 April 2016, 09:37
More than 800 weapons, and thousand of rounds of ammunition has been handed in during two week campaign across the region.
The 'Give Up The Gun' surrender was held by Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, North Wales and Cumbria from April 4 to April 18 - two years on from the last firearms surrender in the region when hundreds of weapons were handed in.
The haul of 811 weapons including both live and deactivated weapons including rifles, shot guns and handguns. Air weapons and imitation guns were also given up, with police promising that they could be handed in, no questions asked.
Across the region 221 weapons were handed over in Greater Manchester, 140 in Merseyside, 130 in Lancashire, 91 in North Wales, 127 in Cheshire and 93 in Cumbria.
Merseyside's Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland tells Heart:people don't come across firearms and they have a fear and think 'well if I go and hand them in will I be in trouble?' Surrender gives them the opportunity to hand them in, takes them off the streets on Merseyside and prevents them getting into the hands of criminals"
There has been an increase in shootings in Liverpool during the surrender, something with ACC Holland says is disappointing: "I think this spate of shootings is unconnected with the firearms surrender and what we've been doing at the same time; we've arrested 56 people, seized more than £112,000 in cash, four viable firearms with seven magazines and a hundred rounds of ammunition, we've uncovered nine cannabis factories one of which would have yielded £3m if it had continued. We've found a large quantity of drugs and bother scrambler and quad bikes which are also used by organised crime groups."
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable John O'Hare said: "I am delighted that we have managed to remove over 220 weapons from the streets of Greater Manchester. "The surrender may be over, but our commitment to tackle gun crime is not. There will be continued efforts from GMP, our colleagues across the North West and our partners as we work together to safeguard, educate and intervene at the earliest opportunity."