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BIG GUN HANDOVER

PUBLISHED: 17:59 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:41 23 August 2010

AMNESTY: Sgt Di Middlemiss with a collection of the weapons.

AMNESTY: Sgt Di Middlemiss with a collection of the weapons.

MORE than 650 weapons have been handed in to police during a month-long weapons amnesty. The campaign, which finished last Sunday, saw a total of 47 real firearms, including 15 shotguns and a Beretta handgun, handed in at police stations across the count

MORE than 650 weapons have been handed in to police during a month-long weapons amnesty.

The campaign, which finished last Sunday, saw a total of 47 real firearms, including 15 shotguns and a Beretta handgun, handed in at police stations across the county.

In north Kent, four real guns were given up, as well as four airguns, 10 knives, a starter pistol and five rocket flares. In west Kent, which includes Swanley, 117 knives were counted, as well as 17 real firearms, 10 imitation airguns and 12 airguns.

Superintendent Peter Wedlake of the Partnership and Crime Reduction Department at Kent Police said: "We are very pleased with the response to the weapons surrender from people in Kent. We have seen many and varied weapons handed over to us during the campaign.

"The scheme was launched to reduce the number of weapons that could potentially be used in crime in Kent. Weapons, whether they are real or imitation, cause fear and distress in the community and every weapon we have taken is one that cannot now be used on the streets"

The total county wide came to 54 airguns, 34 imitation firearms, 10 ball bearing guns, 510 knives and 16 samurai swords.

Just last week new legislation was introduced against the selling, making, hiring or importing of samurai swords in England. Breaking the law risks a £5,000 fine and six months in jail.

Superintendent Wedlake added: "Anyone still in possession of a samurai sword who was unaware of this new law can still contact police with a view to having it collected by officers or alternatively can ensure it is securely wrapped and hand it in at a local police station."

Forty six lots of ammunition were also handed in and 32 other items, including two sets of nunchuks and three boxes of World War Two detonators.

During the initiative, Kent Police Youth Crime Reduction Officers visited schools to educate teenagers of the risks involved of carrying weapons.

Police also worked closely with Kent Trading Standards, visiting retailers to educate them on selling knives and ball bearing guns.

Anyone wishing to report the misuse of weapons should contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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