A ROCKET launcher and a deactivated machine gun and a was just one of the 70 potentially lethal weapons handed in to Hampshire Police during its two-week gun surrender.

The Firearms Surrender launched on July 20th urging people to take the opportunity to hand in any unwanted or illegal firearms to police, so that they could be disposed of safely.

During that fortnight police were handed 31 handguns, 12 shotguns, 24 rifles, two starting canons, one machine gun and two non-descript guns along with 23 quantities of ammunition.

Other surrendered items include deactivated and imitation firearms, BB guns and Tasers.

During the two-week campaign, those surrendering firearms did not face prosecution for the illegal possession upon surrender and can remain anonymous although, police warn: "This was not an amnesty and if further examination of a surrendered firearm reveals a link to a crime, this will be investigated."

Chief Inspector Karen McManus, Tactical Firearms Lead for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “This means that there are 80 fewer firearms and imitation firearms on our streets which could have easily fallen into the hands of criminals.

“As a result our neighbourhoods are much safer, both for our residents and for our officers who work every day and night to protect them.

“Gun crime is low in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has not seen a rise others force areas have, however we cannot be complacent and we will continue to do all we can to make our communities safer.”