YEP Says: Get knives and guns handed in for all our sakes

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IF WEST Yorkshire Police succeed in getting just one gun or knife off the streets, then it will be plain to everyone that their weapons amnesty has been a success.

That will be one fewer knife that can rip apart a family or one fewer gun which can bring sadness and misery to loved ones.

Of course, we know and expect that many, many more weapons which have no rightful place in our society will be turned in to the police.

We know very well in Leeds the terrible impact that these weapons can have, especially in the hands of immature young people who may act on impulse and live to regret their actions.

During the campaign those surrendering firearms, ammunition, knives and other offensive weapons will not face prosecution for simply possessing these weapons and they may wish to remain anonymous.

New legislation also means that there is potentially a large number of previously deactivated guns that do not meet new standards.

While these guns may be legally held, they cannot now be legally sold or given away. West Yorkshire Police is encouraging owners of such unwanted guns to hand them in during the course of the campaign.

West Yorkshire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “We want to remove weapons so they don’t end up in the wrong hands on the streets of West Yorkshire causing injury to someone or even worse. Incidents involving the reported use of weapons are treated very seriously and West Yorkshire Police is committed to reducing these to ensure that people who live, work and visit the county remain safe.

“We want to remove those who involve themselves in the illegal use of weapons from our local communities and it is important that we continue to work with communities and partners to identify, arrest and convict anyone who is involved in crime.”

It has proved a success in recent years and is part of a package of measures aimed at reducing gun and knife crime across the county. Last year a huge haul was handed in including 150 bladed and offensive weapons and 80 guns.

If this year’s campaign is half as successful, we will be happy. And more Leeds families will be safe.