“JUST one gun off our streets could save a life.”

That was the message from Hampshire Constabulary this week when it launched a fortnight-long Firearms and Ammunition Surrender.

The force is taking part in a national campaign to reduce the number of illegally held firearms.

The surrender, running from November 13-26, is giving people the chance to hand in any firearms or ammunition which have come into their possession for whatever reason to Basingstoke Police Station, in Jays Close where they will be disposed of safely.

Chief inspector Emma Baillie, head of armed response for the Joint Operations Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “This is your chance to safely dispose of any guns or ammunition you no longer want but don’t know what to do with.

"Surrender them now and we can dispose of them safely, making sure that they do not fall into the hands of criminals.

“We know that the consequences of firearms or replica firearms falling into the wrong hands can be fatal and can cause real fear within our communities.

“While crimes involving firearms in Hampshire are rare, we know that every firearm poses a potential threat if they are not licensed and stored safely.

"“That is why we are offering this opportunity to safely hand in your unwanted firearms."

“The fight against gun crime is stronger than ever. We take all reports of incidents involving firearms extremely seriously and robust action will be taken against anyone who commits a firearms related offence.”

During the campaign, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous.

However, the campaign is not an amnesty and so if further examination of a surrendered firearm reveals a link to a crime, this will be investigated.

Replica firearms, air weapons, BB guns, imitation firearms, antique guns, component parts and other ballistic items will also be accepted Anyone who is unsure about an item they have is being urged call 101 to get advice on what they should do.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Basingstoke Police Station is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm and on Sunday from 9am to 5pm.