Government amnesty offers cash for weapons

An assault rifle (top) was one of the 17 dangerous weapons taken off the streets of London in the fi

The police are appealing for people to hand in offensive weapons. - Credit: MPS

A government amnesty could compensate people who hand in weapons. 

The Home Office's weapon surrender and compensation scheme started on Thursday, December 10 and runs until March 9. 

The Met is running its own scheme for those who want to hand in weapons but don’t want to reveal personal information, which is a requirement of the Home Office scheme. 

Both amnesties have been launched ahead of the new Offensive Weapons Act 2019 which comes into force next year and will make it an offence for people to have certain firearms at home. 

Det Ch Supt Lee Hill said: “Every weapon surrendered could mean the prevention of a violent incident, injury or death. 

“Alongside this surrender, officers will be carrying out weapon sweeps, patrols, and intelligence-led stop and search to target those who are still intent on carrying knives and firearms. 

“I would urge Londoners to do the right thing and surrender any weapons they might have and remember that this is all aimed at reducing violence, safeguarding communities and keeping our city safe.” 

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People can take part in the Home Office scheme if the weapon is valued at more than £30 and information is provided. This may entitle them to compensation.  

A form must be filled in and the individual must be the legal owner of the weapon. Where possible, proof of ownership needs to be provided.  

The weapon and form can then be handed in at one of 12 police stations, at which point the individual receives a code. The Home Office should then contact people with compensation details.  

Email OWACompensationScheme@homeoffice.gov.uk for the form or write to OWA Surrender and Compensation Scheme, 5th Floor Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF. 

Anyone who doesn’t want to provide personal details, or if a weapon is not valued at more than £30, can still hand a weapon in. In east London, you can hand in at Forest Gate Police Station in Romford Road or Romford Police Station in Main Road. 

Anyone who wants to surrender a firearm should call 101 and arrangements can be made for officers to collect them. Guns can’t be handed in at a police station. 

Deposited weapons will be destroyed. 

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