Police urge people to hand in knives and guns

19 January 2016.......      West Yorkshire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, launch of the latest West Yorkshire Police Weapons Surrender taking place between January 20 and January 30 2016. Picture Tony Johnson

19 January 2016....... West Yorkshire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, launch of the latest West Yorkshire Police Weapons Surrender taking place between January 20 and January 30 2016. Picture Tony Johnson

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Firearms, ammunition, knives and other offensive weapons can be handed in to police without penalty, as part of a county-wide campaign.

West Yorkshire Police is staging a weapons surrender until Saturday, January 30.

The initiative, backed by the Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife movement, aims to avoid weapons getting “into the wrong hands” and provide people with a safe place to dispose of both weapons and ammunition.

It is hoped the campaign will reduce the number of weapons on the street and make communities safer.

Members of the community surrendering any weapons during the campaign will not face prosecution for possessing them and can remain anonymous.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “While we continue to maintain a low number of recorded crimes involving guns, knives and other weapons, we take it extremely seriously.

“We had a good response to a similar campaign in November 2014 when more than 150 knives and other weapons were handed in. The safe removal of these items from the streets ensures they cannot be used for criminal activity or worse still to hurt or kill someone.

“We would urge members of the public to hand in any weapons at their local police station. Failure to do so would be a serious matter and could lead to some very serious charges.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “It is reassuring to know that gun and knife crime remains low across the county, but I would urge people to take advantage of this surrender to hand in weapons they have that may be illegal and dangerous in the wrong hands.”

The campaign is also being backed by a teacher who was stabbed by a pupil in a racist attack at his school.

Vincent Uzomah, from Moortown, Leeds suffered serious injuries when he was stabbed in the stomach by a 14-year-old boy at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford last June.

The boy, who racially abused Mr Uzomah before the incident, was handed an 11-year extended sentence after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Uzomah said: “Weapons are not toys, so please do not carry one. I nearly lost my life in the hand of a knife-carrying student in school, and my family was devastated.

“Our society is safer when you don’t carry one – hand in any weapon in your possession today please”.

Weapons can be handed in at the following stations:

Halifax Police Station

Richmond Close

Halifax

HX1 5TW

7am - 11pm Mon – Sun

Dewsbury Police Station

Aldams Road

Dewsbury

WF12 8AR

8am - 10pm Mon - Sun

Normanton District Headquarters

Havertop Lane

Normanton, Wakefield

WF6 1FD

8am - 10pm Mon - Sat

Anyone with information about the illegal possession or use of firearms should contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.