A FIREARMS surrender is being held to make the county safer and prevent guns falling into the wrong hands.

Essex Police is beginning the two week amnesty on Monday with people being encouraged to handover unlicensed firearms, ammunition, imitation firearms and air or gas powered weapons at police stations.

Anyone handing in guns will not face prosecution for illegally possessing them but they will be inspected to see if they have been involved in a crime.

Det Chf Supt Rob Fordham said: “In the last three years we’ve seen a concerning rise in the number of offences involving a firearm – from 768 to 900.

“This surrender will give you the opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted or unlicensed firearms and ammunition safely, ensuring they do not fall into the wrong hands.

“There are many responsible firearms license holders in Essex, but there have been a number of changes to the law in recent years and people may not be aware of how they’re affected.”

Weapons can be surrendered at front counters at the police stations including Colchester, Clacton and Braintree.

Anyone wanting to hand them in asked to call ahead on 101 so they can be advised on how best to transport the item or arrange for collection.

Mr Fordham added: “This amnesty will help make Essex safer.”