Hand over your guns!

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GUN-toting youths are being asked to hand over their weapons during an amnesty next month.

Police are asking youngsters to hand over BB guns, catapults and other weapons in a bid to reduce incidents of criminal damage in Bispham.

Sgt Martin Webster, Blackpool Police

Sgt Martin Webster, Blackpool Police

Officers have seen an increase in the number of windows being broken after being shot with BB guns, catapults or other similar weapons.

Slingshots were used to break windows at the new Moor Park Medical Centre on Bristol Avenue in June.

Letters are being sent to parents to warn youths about the problem and an amnesty will be held between August 1 and August 14 at Bispham police station.

Sgt Martin Webster, (above), of Bispham neighbourhood police team, said: “Parents should not be allowing their youngsters to use these items without supervision and many are unaware exactly what their children are up to when they are taking them out on to the streets.

Aside from the damage that can be caused to property, these weapons are dangerous and can cause serious injuries.

“The amnesty will allow people to hand in these items without issue – however, once the amnesty has ended, will be seeking to prosecute those we find using these weapons in public places.”

Damage to windows can leave victims with repair bills of up to £1,000 and their insurance premiums can also shoot up.

After the amnesty, anyone found in a public place with a weapon will be liable to prosecution.

Plain-clothed officers will now be carrying out patrols and using stop and search powers to crack down on the problem.