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Operation Raptor: Weapons surrender is launched

People from across Lincolnshire can give up their weapons in a surrender which begins today (November 4).

It is part of Operation Raptor, which aims to tackle weapons offences in the west of the county.

By surrendering any unlicensed or unwanted weapons, members of the public can make sure that they do not potentially fall into the hands of criminals.

Detective Inspector Mark Seage said: “We understand that every weapon poses a potential threat if not licensed and stored safely. That’s why we’re offering people this opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted weapons.

“One less weapon means one less opportunity for it to fall into the wrong hands.”

Although Operation Raptor is focused on tackling the issue in the west of Lincolnshire, anyone in the county can take their weapons to police stations at Lincoln, Grantham, Skegness or Boston.

Among the items which can be handed in are:

  • Knives;
  • Firearms;
  • BB guns;
  • Tasers;
  • CS canisters;
  • Knuckle dusters;
  • Crossbows.

Imitation or replica weapons can also be handed in.

During this period, those giving up firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession at the point of surrender, and they can remain anonymous.

However, as this is a surrender and not an amnesty, police may investigate offences once the operation has concluded. * Please note this applies to firearms, and not other weapons. *

You should contact police immediately if you know that someone else has a weapon illegally or are concerned about someone in possession of any weapon, even if they have a licence.

In an emergency dial 999, and if you don’t want to give your name you can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

How to hand in your weapon

You can take your item to Boston, Skegness, Lincoln and Grantham Police Stations providing it is packaged and bagged safely and appropriately. Check our website for opening times here https://www.lincs.police.uk/contact/police-stations/

There is no need to call ahead unless you have queries or concerns about your weapon or the process of handing it in.  

If you are elderly, infirm or without transport, police will attend your home. Please call 101.

Do not attempt to bring items that might be unstable, e.g. a hand grenade. Call 101 for advice.

Q&As:

Why are you running a weapons surrender now?

It is being run as part of Operation Raptor, an intensification period dealing with weapons-related offences in the West of the county.

What is the main purpose of the weapons surrender?

To reduce the volume of weapons in circulation in the UK which could get into the wrong hands.

How long will the weapons surrender last?

From Monday, 4 November.

Which items do you think will be handed in?

In previous firearms campaigns there have been various weapons handed in including antique guns, air weapons, rifles and shotguns.

We hope many weapons will be surrendered across Lincolnshire. If you want to safely dispose of a weapon /firearm or ammunition you can contact your local police for advice by dialling 101.

What is the difference between a weapons surrender and a weapons amnesty?

Weapons surrenders allow law enforcement to examine the history and use of firearms prior to their surrender. Any possession or use of the firearm prior to its surrender may therefore legitimately be considered for investigation or prosecution.

An amnesty may be considered by some to represent immunity from prosecution for the lifetime of a firearm. This is not the case a with a surrender.

With a surrender, any criminal use of a firearm will be examined and acted upon.

Any amnesty applies only at the point of surrender, not for any offences committed prior to the surrender.

What will happen to all the weapons handed in?

Weapons of no historical significance/interest will be destroyed. Weapons identified as being used in previous criminal activity will be subjected to further investigation.

Will I get into trouble for surrendering my weapons?

During the campaign, those surrendering weapons will not face prosecution for the illegal possession and they can remain anonymous. However, a prosecution may be sought if individuals are found in illegal possession of weapons after this period.

When and where can I hand in weapons?

Weapons can be handed to police station front counter staff at Boston, Sleaford, Grantham and Lincoln.

If someone is unable to travel to a police station they should contact police via 101 and arrange for the firearm/weapon to be collected.

06 Nov 19 9:48 AM

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