POLICE forces across the UK are appealing for people to hand over unwanted guns during a two week surrender of firearms and ammunition, starting Monday.

North Wales Police are asking people to hand in unlawfully held or unwanted guns and ammunition to prevent them getting into criminal hands.

Many firearms are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are overlooked and forgotten in people’s homes. Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks.

Detective Superintendent Steve Williams of North Wales Police said: “Given the largely rural setting of our area, it may well be that people hold unlicensed firearms that have been handed down to them from relatives for example.

“Furthermore there may be people who, because of the change in legislation around possessing a firearm, now own a weapon they cannot legally hold.

The surrender is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and will run for two weeks from Monday, November 13 to Sunday, November 26, 2017.

During that period, those handing over firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession, at the point of surrender, and can remain anonymous. 

However, the history of each live weapon will be checked for evidence of its use in crimes.

Latest crime figures issued on October 19, 2017, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that crime involving firearms in England & Wales has increased by 27% (to 6,696) for year ending June, 2017 compared with the previous year (5,269 offences).

Illegal possession of a firearm can mean five years behind bars and if you are found guilty of possession with intent to supply that can lead to a life sentence. 

During the last national firearms surrender in 2014 more than 6,000 items were handed in.

If you know of anyone involved with illegal firearms call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111.

If you are a licensed firearm holder who wants advice please contact the North Wales Police Firearms Licensing Team via https://www.north-wales.police.uk/about-us/departments/firearms-licensing or follow them on Twitter @NWPFALicensing or Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/NWPFirearmsLicensing/

Station opening times: Rhyl Police Station, 8:30am – 7pm, Monday to Saturday, 9am – 6pm Sundays, Llandudno Police Station, 9am, 1pm & 3pm – 6pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.

Colwyn Bay Police Station, 9am ,1pm & 3pm, 6pm, Mondays, Caernarfon Police Station. 9am – 1pm & 3pm – 6pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday.

Bangor Police Station, 8:30am, 7pm Mon to Sat. 9am – 6pm, Sundays, and Holyhead Police Station, 9am – 1pm & 3pm, 6pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays.