More than 220 weapons have been handed in during a police amnesty – with more than a quarter of all the firearms surrendered in Stevenage.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s firearms amnesty ran from November 11 until Friday, by which time 223 weapons had been given to the police.

Of those, 66 were handed over in Stevenage – the highest number across the county – with 33 in North Herts the second highest.

Chief Supt Jane Swinburne said: “I am delighted with the response from the public who have fully engaged in this amnesty and helped to make the county an even safer place to live. We never expected to get such a response and I’m pleased to say that the majority of firearms have been surrendered by citizens who have given full details to the police, either via our collection service or by bringing them into police stations.

“With the help of the public we have managed to take over 200 guns out of public circulation and have reduced the chances of these firearms falling into the hands of criminals. Gun crime accounts for less 1 per cent of crime in the county, and following this amnesty I am hoping that we make our streets even safer.

“The police have worked hard to ensure this operation ran smoothly and this has been borne out by the number of people who have contacted us to make sure they were not breaking the law, either by handing in weapons or getting advice from our firearms officers.”

Anyone who is still concerned about firearms in their possession should call 101 to speak to a firearms licensing officer.