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House of Commons Hansard
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06 March 2007
Volume 457
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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice he has given to chief constables of police authorities on the (a) registration, (b) storage and (c) disposal of firearms seized during police operations. [123603]

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[holding answer 26 February 2007]: Minimum standards of investigation are contained in the Gun Crime Investigative Guidance manual of good practice published jointly by the ACPO Criminal Use of Firearms Group and the Home Office. This provides detailed guidance on the recovery of firearms, including health and safety issues, the packaging, storage and exploitation of the results of forensic and ballistic examination, and the prevention of the contamination of evidence. Disposal is a matter dealt with by individual force policy and procedures, dependent on the circumstances of each case and whether or not criminal proceedings are involved.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many rounds of ammunition collected during the 2003 gun amnesty have been successfully disposed of. [123604]

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[holding answer 26 February 2007]: During the firearms amnesty in 2003, over one million rounds of ammunition were handed in to police in England and Wales.

The Home Office issued guidance to forces on the destruction of items handed in during the amnesty. The guidance advised forces that all firearms and ammunition should be destroyed in accordance with current force policy, other than those items considered to be of exceptional historic or forensic significance (as advised by the Forensic Science Service (FSS)), or items believed to have been used in crime and, after examination by the FSS, retained as part of an ongoing investigation.