In Zaanstad, nearly 200 weapons have been surrendered to the police in recent weeks. 22 firearms and 71 knives were handed over.
The return campaign was an initiative of the municipality of Zaanstad, the police and the Public Prosecution Service. The action meant that people could hand in weapons with impunity for two weeks and was intended to reduce the possession of weapons. Last year, the police came into action 140 times in the event of a stab or shooting incident in the municipality.
A total of 197 items were returned, including firearms, knives, grenades, tasers and boxing brackets. The police are satisfied with the result. “In any case, these weapons are off the street. The fact that grenades have even been surrendered is something I find quite a lot,” says agent Sherwin Tjin-Asjoe to NH Nieuws. “The numbers are higher than expected.”
At the beginning of last month, the police in the municipality of Zaanstad intervened four times in five days in stab-related incidents involving mainly young people. “We hear that young people are arming themselves. There seems to be a sort of race,” says Tjin-Asjoe. “If this is the case, it must be broken.”
He does not know whether the submission campaign has succeeded. “But it is the start of a sustainable solution,” says the agent. The surrendered weapons are destroyed.
In the coming weeks, the police will investigate whether the firearms have been used in a crime. If this is the case, the person who has handed in the weapon can still be regarded as a suspect.
In addition to the hand-in action, the police have been carrying out preventive searches for a while in the inner city of Zaanstad. Those actions continue.