Weapons amnesty for West Yorkshire as offensive weapons use soars

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The result of the last amnesty in 2016Image source, West Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
A previous amnesty saw 80 guns and 130 blades handed in

A police force has launched a temporary amnesty as the use of offensive weapons has almost doubled over three years.

There were 1,317 recorded offences of possession of offensive weapons in 2016 compared with 672 in 2014, said West Yorkshire Police.

Backing the amnesty, gun crime victim Christopher Wright said: "Our lives were devastated by what happened."

In a previous weapons surrender in 2016, 150 knives or bladed weapons and 80 guns were handed in to the force.

Mr Wright, 57, was left fighting for his life after being shot on the doorstep of his Leeds home in 2010.

He spent weeks in intensive care at hospital, was unable to work for three years, lost his business and almost his family home.

He said: "People shouldn't carry guns and I would urge them to support the weapons surrender."

A man was later convicted of Mr Wright's attempted murder and jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Image source, Getty Images

Recorded offences of possession of offensive weapons

2014 - 672

2015 - 915

2016 - 1,317

Source: West Yorkshire Police

Those surrendering firearms, ammunition, knives and other offensive weapons during the campaign will not face prosecution for possessing these weapons.

The force also wants previously deactivated guns handed in. These can be legally held but not sold or given away.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "We want to remove those who involve themselves in the illegal use of weapons from our local communities."

The amnesty runs until 4 March.

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