Met launches first London gun amnesty since 2008

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Media captionGun amnesty has begun in London

The Metropolitan Police has launched its first London-wide gun amnesty in six years.

People can take firearms and ammunition into their local police station anonymously for two weeks, until 24 November.

In particular, the force said it was looking to stop antique guns falling into the hands of gangs.

Det Ch Supt Dean Haydon said gun crime in the capital in 2013-14 was at its lowest since 2008.

"[But] we are not complacent; our primary aim is keeping Londoners safe and we recognise the considerable and devastating impact of gun crime on those affected by it.

Image copyright Met
Image caption People can hand in guns and ammunition anonymously and without fear of prosecution

"The surrender provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the number of firearms in circulation on the streets of London."

The Met is concerned about gangs exploiting a loophole in the law surrounding old firearms.

Rules for buying working antique guns were tightened in July, preventing convicts from buying or owning one and soon dealers will be required to keep computerised records for at least 20 years.

Mr Haydon said: "Make no mistake, these are live weapons which can be used to hurt or injure someone.

"We have welcomed the tightening of laws around antique firearms which now means that someone who has served or received a criminal sentence can no longer possess an antique gun."

The Met has released a map of police stations where people can hand in firearms anonymously and without fear of prosecution.

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