Offensive weapons surrender scheme launched in Norfolk
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People in Norfolk have been given three months to surrender certain items that will soon be classed as offensive weapons.
New legislation, set out in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, includes measures to control the sale of knives and corrosive substances.
It also introduces new offences relating to their possession and use.
Under the new laws, the possession of specified rapid firing rifles, bump stocks, knives and offensive weapons for public safety will be prohibited.
A three-month window opens on Thursday (December 10), and will run until March 9 next year, during which the lawful owners of such weapons can surrender them to the police and submit a claim form for compensation from the Home Office.
In Norfolk, the designated police stations are Bethel Street Police Station in Norwich, King’s Lynn Police Station or Great Yarmouth Police Station.
Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, head of the joint roads and armed policing team, said: "It is extremely important that anyone who is currently in possession of one of the above items, is aware of the change in legislation.
"Although there is a three month surrender period, we urge lawful owners of these items to either return them to a designated police station or contact their local licencing department as soon as possible.
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"The reason for this being that anyone found in possession of these items after the surrender period will effectively be in possession of an illegal weapon or firearm and could face up to ten years in prison.
"Please ensure that when you are transporting items to one of the designated police stations, you do so in a safe manner. This includes wrapping items or placing them in a bag or a box, if possible. Please also make sure that you do not take the items out until you are requested to do so by a police officer or member of staff.”
Those in possession of knives or other offensive weapons must fill in an Offensive Weapons Act Surrender and Compensation Scheme Form, before bringing this and the item(s) to a police station designated for the purpose.
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Owners should also bring valid Identification and proof of ownership - this could be a receipt of purchase or something similar.
The weapons include:
- rapid firing rifles
- flick knives and gravity knives
- belt buckle knife
- push dagger
- stealth knife
- disguised knife
- hollow kubotan
- balisong or butterfly knife
- telescopic truncheon
- blow pipe or blowgun
- kusari gama
- kyoketsu shoge
- manrikigusari or kusari
For more information about the scheme, including a full list of the items, claim form and whether you are eligible for compensation, please visit: gov.uk