Over 80 air weapons surrendered to Lanark Police

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams with some of the weapons already surrendered to police stations in Scotland
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams with some of the weapons already surrendered to police stations in Scotland

Over 80 guns have been handed in to Lanark Police Office in the first few days of the Air Weapon Surrender Campaign launched by Police Scotland.

It runs from May 23 until June 12, to give the public the chance to get rid of any air weapons they don’t want.

If they keep the air weapons, then they will need a licence for them.

“Anyone who has an airweapon has two choices: licence it, or surrender it,” said Clydesdale community support officer James Higgins.

“Lanark police office has dedicated officers who can take surrendered weapons, and over 80 weapons have been surrendered in the last few days alone.”

Constable Higgins added that when transporting weapons to the police office, owners should make sure the weapons are fully covered - to avoid causing fear and alarm in the streets - and they should surrender the weapons still covered to officers inside the police station.

“Never surrender weapons to officers when they are on patrol,” he added.

And he said of the response at Lanark: “The reaction from the public has been extremely positive.

“People are taking the opportunity to surrender unwanted air weapons.

“It seems that many had weapons they simply did not want, and did not know what to do with them.”

Nationally, Police Scotland has welcomed the public’s response to its campaign, as it announced the number handed in during the first week, and displayed a some of them prior to destruction.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams revealed the number of weapons handed in to the 72 designated stations from Lerwick to Stranraer in the first week alone is 2301.

He said: “This is a fantastic start to the three week campaign.

“It’s great to see so many weapons being handed in and I’d like to thank responsible members of the public for surrendering them.

“Remember there is still two weeks left to run and I’d like to appeal to anyone who possesses an air weapon and doesn’t intend licensing it to hand it in to one of the designated 72 stations.

“You can find out all you need to know about the surrender campaign on our website.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I had the opportunity to meet with Police Scotland staff last week and see some of the weapons that have been taken off our streets.

“It is extremely encouraging to know that so many air weapons have been handed in by people who do not plan to have a licence when the new law comes into force at the end of the year.

“I would encourage anybody with an air weapon to stay on the right side of the law by handing them in during the surrender process or, if they wish to keep them, making sure they apply from July 1 2016 for the right to own an air weapon.”

For full details, log on to www.scotland.police.uk/airweapons There is also a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNqXcyrheOU