REDDITCH residents are being urged to surrender their firearms to the town’s police station.

Members of the public are invited to safely dispose of a firearm by taking it to the Redditch police station on Grove Street between Monday, November 13, and Sunday, November 26.

The initiative is being co-ordinated across the country by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) with all forces in England and Wales taking part.

The aim is to reduce the number of illegal or unlicensed firearms in circulation and to decrease the opportunities for firearms to be used in a criminal offence.

West Mercia Police Chief Inspector Mark Colquhoun said: “Compared with other areas of the country we don’t have a significant gun problem, but we are keen to support this national campaign to help keep our communities safe.

“The whole aim is to remove any firearms that could potentially be used in a crime from public circulation.

“Our policing area has a large number of licensed firearms owners, and this is also an opportunity for them to hand in old weapons or guns they no longer require.

“By participating in the surrender, people can be confident that items have been safely disposed of. Every firearm surrendered is one less weapon that can be used to commit crime.”

During the last surrender in 2014, more than 6000 items were handed into police nationally.

CI Colquhoun added: “The majority of the firearms handed in during the last surrender were older items that the owner no longer needed and wanted to safely dispose of.

“People may have older or historical weapons stored in lofts or garages which have been inherited or passed down through the family, and these can also be disposed of during the surrender.

"While these are not being used for criminal activities, they can and sometimes do fall into the wrong hands and can then be used to commit crimes.”

Guns and ammunition, including replica firearms, BB guns and antique weapons, can be surrendered at designated police stations across the UK during the surrender.

Anyone handing an item in is advised to call 101 and notify police of the time and station they will be attending.