A total of 82 items were handed in to Dorset Police during a firearms and ammunition surrender.

Among the items were shotguns, rifles and pistols, as well as pyrotechnics.

A national campaign was launched by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS), which was supported by police forces around the country, including Dorset Police.

The campaign ran from July 20 until August 4 this year.

The aim of surrendering weapons avoids the risk of them becoming involved in criminality, the force says.

Michelle Mounsey, head of the Alliance firearms and explosives licensing department for Dorset Police and Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “As a result of this firearms surrender, all of these items are now permanently out of potential circulation.

“While not every firearm is owned with the intent of criminal activity, every firearm can become a weapon in the wrong hands, removing the guns from circulation reduces the risk of danger to public safety.

“The campaign was an opportunity for anyone to hand in illegal, unregistered or unwanted firearms without risk of arrest at the point of surrender and while the campaign is now over, I would encourage anyone in possession of a firearm or ammunition that they no longer want to contact us for safe disposal.”

The most common weapons were air rifles, with 16 handed in to police, meanwhile, the second most common weapons were pistols with a total of 14 surrendered.

Other weapons included shotguns, with 11 surrendered, as well as pyrotechnics, pepper spray and blank firing weapons, but these were all low in number.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset does not have a serious problem with gun crime and remains one of the safest places in the country.

“However, I’m glad to see that these items have now been brought into the police so they can be safely destroyed, rather than running the risk of them ending up in the wrong hands.”

Information about firearms licensing in Dorset can be found here Visit dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/safety-in-your-community/firearms-and-explosives-licensing

Dorset Police was experiencing a delay in the processing of firearms licensing, but the Echo has been assured this has since improved.