The Metropolitan Police Service is supporting a national surrender, led by the Home Office, that will financially compensate members of the public who hand-in offensive weapons they may have at home, including knives and firearms.
The Weapon Surrender and Compensation Scheme starts today Thursday, 10 December, and will run for three months concluding on Tuesday, 9 March.
The Met is simultaneously running a surrender scheme for those who would like to hand in weapons but do not wish to disclose their personal information, which is a requirement for the Home Office Scheme.
The schemes have been put into action ahead of the new Offensive Weapons Act 2019 which comes into effect next year, and will make it an offence for people to have certain firearms weapons in the home.
The surrender schemes are in place to prevent members of the public being liable for prosecution and are part of continued efforts by the Met to remove potentially harmful weapons from the capital.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill, who is leading the weapons surrender in the Met, said: “Our top priority remains tackling violent crime and we fully support this surrender which seeks to remove potentially dangerous and harmful knives and firearms - every weapon surrendered could mean the prevention of a violent incident, injury or death.
“Alongside this surrender, officers will be carrying out a range of tactics including weapon sweeps, patrols, and intelligence-led stop and search to target those who are still intent on carrying knives and firearms on the streets of London.
“I would urge Londoners to do the right thing and surrender any weapons they might have and remember that this is all aimed at reducing violence, safeguarding communities and keeping our city safe.”
How do I surrender a weapon?
Londoners have the option to take part in the Home Office Weapon Surrender and Compensation Scheme if the weapon is valued over £30 and the necessary information is provided, which may then entitle the individual for compensation from the Home Office. A form must be completed in advance, and the individual must also be the legal owner of the weapon and, where possible, provide acceptable proof of ownership. The weapon and form can then be given to either a Police Officer or Public Access Officer at one of the 12 designated police stations across London, at which point the individual will receive a unique reference code from police.
The Home Office will contact individuals directly with details around the compensation. The form and more information can be found at the UK Government website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offensive-weapons-act-surrender-and-compensation-scheme), or by emailing a request to OWACompensationScheme@homeoffice.gov.uk or by post to OWA Surrender and Compensation Scheme, 5th Floor Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to provide any personal details, or your weapon is not valued at more than £30, you can still surrender a weapon – while opting out of the compensation option. You can hand in an offensive weapon at one of the nominated police stations.
If you wish to surrender a firearm, please call 101 and alternative arrangements can be made for officers to collect them safely and securely – as these cannot be handed in directly at a police station under any circumstances.
When transporting a weapon to the police station, please ensure it is packaged in a safe manner, the weapon is not readily accessible and not able to harm anyone, for example, by wrapping the items up and placing them in a bag or box where possible. Please be in possession of your Home Office paperwork in any event.
The deposited weapons will be destroyed once the surrender ends in three months.
Additionally, there are also Words for Weapons knife bins across the capital where Londoners can hand in knives. You can find the London bins here: https://www.word4weapons.co.uk/knife-bin-locations/
List of police stations in London where knives can be handed in:
The following designated police stations will be open 24 hours a day:
- Twickenham Police Station, 41 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3SY
- Lewisham Police Station, 43 Lewisham High St, Lewisham, SE13 5JZ
- Croydon Police Station, 71 Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1BP
- Brixton Police Station, 367 Brixton Road, Brixton, SW9 7DD
- Hammersmith Police Station, 226 Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith, W6 7NX
- Islington Police Station, 2 Tolpuddle Street, The Angel, Islington, N1 0YY
- Stoke Newington Police Station, 33 Stoke Newington High St, London, N16 8DS
- Forest Gate Police Station, 350-360 Romford Rd, London, E7 8BS
- Wembley Police Station, 603 Harrow Rd, Wembley, HA0 2HH
- Tottenham Police Station, 398 High Rd, Tottenham, N17 9JA
- Acton Police Station, 250 High St, Acton, W3 9BH
- Romford Police Station, 19 Main Road, Romford, RM1 3BJ