Police in North Kent are offering residents the opportunity to surrender their unwanted firearms, stun guns and pepper sprays without facing prosecution.

The two-week firearms surrender is part of a nationwide campaign and will run between Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, August 4.

During this campaign people are being reminded that the possession of pepper spray and stun guns is illegal and can be handed over to police during the surrender.

In addition to this firearms and ammunition can be taken to nominated police stations where they can be disposed of.

This includes replica and antique firearms, air weapons, imitation firearms including BB guns, component parts and other ballistic items.

During this period, those surrendering firearms will not face prosecution for illegal possession at the point of surrender and can remain anonymous if they choose to.

This is the second time the force has promoted a firearms surrender this year.

Between January 21 and February 6, 172 firearms and around 4,000 rounds of ammunition were handed over to Kent Police.

Superintendent Mick Gardner of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "This is a good opportunity to hand in devices such as stun guns and pepper sprays and stop them from getting into the wrong hands.

"As they are available to order online it is highly likely that there are a number of people who possess them and are completely unaware that it is a criminal offence to do so.

"In other cases there may be firearms that are held innocently with owners unaware of their illegality, or are overlooked heirlooms forgotten in people’s homes.

"Others are acquired and distributed by criminal networks to threaten or harm communities.

"This a good opportunity for those individuals to dispose of them without fear of being prosecuted for illegal possession.

"In handing over a firearm to us, you are preventing it from getting into the wrong hands and you could be saving someone’s life.

"This is an excellent opportunity to remove potential harm to others and protect your community.’