Rocket launcher handed in to Lymington police during weapons surrender
A ROCKET launcher was handed in to police at Lymington during a campaign by Hampshire Constabulary urging people to dispose of unwanted or illegal firearms.
The high-powered weapon was among a range of items, including a machine gun, dropped off during a two-week surrender period.
More than 70 firearms were handed in across the county, including the rocket launcher and deactivated machine gun.
There were 31 handguns, 12 shotguns, 24 rifles, two starting cannons from a sailing club and two nondescript guns.
Chief Insp. Karen McManus, tactical firearms lead for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “We would like to thank everyone who handed in any firearms or ammunition as part of this surrender.
“This means that there are fewer firearms and imitation firearms on our streets which could have easily fallen into the hands of criminals.
“As a result our neighbourhoods are much safer, both for our residents and for our officers who work every day and night to protect them.”
Members of the public were reassured they would not face prosecution for the illegal possession of the items and could remain anonymous.
However, police have warned there would be investigations if further examination of the surrendered firearms revealed a link to a crime.
A large amount of ammunition was also handed in alongside imitation firearms, BB guns and Tasers.
Chief Insp. McManus added: “We are very pleased that so many people took the opportunity to take part in this initiative and the number of firearms recovered certainly proves how valuable such a surrender is.
“Gun crime is low in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has not seen a rise that other areas have, however, we cannot be complacent and we will continue to do all we can to make our communities safer.”
In Dorset Police's amnesty, 82 items were surrendered including 30 air weapons, 11 shotguns, one rifle and two handguns, plus 30 lots ammunition, six weapon components, two pyrotechnics, two blank firing weapons and two CS/pepper spray canisters.
Anyone who has a firearm or is uncertain about its lawful possession can contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.