A total of 80 firearms have been handed into the Met during a National Firearm Surrender.
Whilst the Met continues its efforts to bear down on gun crime in London, members of the public have been doing the same by handing in firearms and ammunition.
Throughout the surrender that ran between 12-29 May, a variety of weapons, including 80 firearms, four crossbows and 10,083 rounds of ammunition, have been handed in across London.
The recovery of dangerous items will continue to see London as a hostile environment for firearms and associated violence.
During the surrender period, officers from Markhouse Ward in Walthamstow came across a surprisingly large haul of weapons whilst checking the welfare of an elderly resident who had phoned police in distress.
During the visit, a man in his 80s disclosed to officers he had an old collection of weapons he would like police to take away. The officers asked him to show them and he went off to search through a storage closet, pulling out swords, guns and then ammunition – at this point the officers asked him to pause, calling in the Met’s Forensic Team to make the weapons safe.
In total they recovered, 13 firearms, 22 various swords, bayonets, daggers, two cudgels, various ammunition and what are believed to be two mortars. No action was taken against the man, who took the opportunity to take advantage of the surrender of his life-long collection of such items.
PC Owen Clark, who attended the address, said: “When you knock on a door in this job you never always know what you are going to come across. This time we got a friendly, elderly man who wanted us to take away a few old weapons for safety’s sake. I had no idea that he meant a lifetime’s worth of car boot sale plunder in the form of over a dozen firearms and other weapons, all of which have been destroyed. I like to think of it as spring cleaning by the Met.”
The surrender activity has helped the Met continue to work on reducing lethal barrel discharges – which have reduced by 29 per cent (Jan – May 22) compared to the same period in 2021.
A total of 557 lethal firearms were seized from the streets (financial year 2021/22) compared with 483 in the same period for 2020/21. The number of shootings has also gone down from 283 in the financial year 2019/20 to 196 in 2021/22.
These results are due to the continued dedication of proactive units carrying out long term, intelligence-led operations in areas of heightened gang criminality, spearheaded by our Specialist Crime Command.
The Met’s new gun crime lead, Detective Superintendent Tim Mustoe, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “I thank the public for their help in removing these weapons from the streets of London.
“However, we are not complacent. Our officers will continue to work around-the-clock to dismantle organised crime groups and disrupt the transportation of firearms into our city.
“Tackling violence is the Met’s number one priority and we are seeing an impact, keeping communities safer and preventing many coming to harm.
“If someone asks you to conceal a weapon, they are putting the risk on you. If you are caught in possession of a firearm, the likelihood is you will be jailed for a minimum of five years.
“Often the firearms we seize are converted and formerly legally-owned. They are then acquired by criminals and distributed for illegal use. Thankfully a number of formerly legally owned firearms have been handed in during the surrender.
“Help us to reduce the threat of gun crime in London. I would urge anyone to seize this opportunity if it applies to you. If you have any information regarding gun crime, please speak to police or in confidence through the independent charity 100% anonymously.”
+ Information on how to report a suspected firearms discharge, or to provide information to the police on where firearms are being stored or who is in possession of a firearm can be made via 999, by tweeting @MetCC or via our website.
Alternatively, we encourage anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers. They never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Fill in their quick online form or call 0800 555 111. It could save a life.