MORE than 40 firearms were handed in to police as part of an initiative which ran this month.

In total, 41 firearms were handed which included 13 were real guns and 28 were imitations, air weapons or airsoft weapons.

The surrender, which ran from December 3 to December 14, allowed anyone who had an unwanted or unlicensed firearm – real or imitation – to hand them in to us dispose of.

Anyone handing in an item would not face prosecution for possessing it illegally.

Detective Chief Superintendent from Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate Stuart Hooper said: “Firearms can be used to ruin lives and destroy communities.

“Ensuring just one gun can’t get into the hands of criminals makes Essex safer so to have 41 handed in is really good news.

“That’s 41 fewer firearms which could potentially find their way into the hands of criminals and be used to rob, injure, threaten or even kill someone.

“Our work to take guns off the streets of Essex and prevent them getting there in the first place doesn’t stop though and I’d urge anyone with information about someone using or possessing guns illegally to contact us.”

The results of the surrender come as around 800 firearms were seized under warrant in Coggeshall on December 11.

A 67- year-old man was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences and has been released on bail until January 8.

If you have any information about someone using or possessing a gun illegally, call 101.