Gun surrender launched in West Midlands Police bid to combat violent crime

A fortnight-long firearm surrender was launched today by West Midlands Police as part of their efforts to tackle violent crime.

Police chiefs hope gun owners will hand in weapons at police stations across Birmingham.

They hope to repeat the success of previous surrenders – last year more than 250 weapons and ammunition were handed in, including more than 100 guns.

Up until Friday there had been some 45 incidents across the West Midlands in which a gun was fired – down on last year.

But the number of gun incidents is rising annually, in both the West Midlands and nationally.

At today’s launch West Midlands Police’s crime and police commissioner David Jamieson highlighted the need to target young people with prevention messages and show them there was an alternative to gangs and violence.

He also highlighted the impact of austerity cuts to police and local councils, and how cash cuts were affecting the amount of prevention work that could be done with young people.

Det Insp Rod Rose, of West Midlands Police’s CID Prevent team, said he hoped the gun surrender would garner a strong response but did not expect “hardened criminals” to stroll in and hand over their weapons.

The aim was to get any guns currently held by people across the West Midlands out of harm’s way.

In the most recent gun incident, two men were shot in Selcroft Avenue, Quinton, last night. One suffered a thigh injury while the other was shot in his upper arm. Neither injury is life threatening.

Police are appealing for information about the incident which occurred around 10.40pm in the car park between Tintern House and Netley House.

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