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

In total, 41 firearms were handed in, including 13 real guns and 28 imitation, air weapons or airsoft weapons.

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

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

Det Chief Supt Stuart Hooper, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, 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.”