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Shotguns, rifles and a rocket launcher amongst firearms handed in to Hampshire Police

A rocket launcher which was surrendered as part of the campaign - picture credited to Hampshire Police

More than 70 firearms have been handed in to Hampshire Police as part of a two week campaign.

Officers have revealed the figures from the Guns Surrender, which was a national project aimed at tackling crime.

Items recovered in the county included 31 handguns, 24 rifles, 12 shotguns, a rocket launcher and two starting canons from a sailing club.

Other surrendered items include deactivated and imitation firearms, BB guns and Tasers.

Hampshire Police joined police forces across the country to take part in the national campaign run by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

During the two-week campaign, those surrendering firearms did not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

However, this was not an amnesty and if further examination of a surrendered firearm reveals a link to a crime, officers say this will be investigated.

(Above: A machine gun which was surrendered as part of the campaign - picture credited to Hampshire Police)

Chief Inspector Karen McManus, Tactical Firearms Lead for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said:

“We would like to thank everyone who handed in any firearms or ammunition as part of this surrender.

“This means that there are 80 fewer firearms and imitation firearms on our streets which could have easily fallen into the hands of criminals.

“As a result our neighbourhoods are much safer, both for our residents and for our officers who work every day and night to protect them.

“We are very pleased that so many people took the opportunity to take part in this initiative and the number of firearms recovered certainly proves how valuable such a surrender is.

“Gun crime is low in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has not seen a rise others force areas have, however we cannot be complacent and we will continue to do all we can to make our communities safer.”

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