A DEADLY assault rifle was handed in to Trowbridge Police Station on the first day of the force's firearms surrender campaign.

The AK-7 firearm was dropped off at the police station on Monday morning, much to the shock of officers, as it was the first item handed into them.

Despite the weapon being deactivated when it was handed in, Sergeant Gill Hughes took every precaution when she handled it.

"As far as I am aware, this is the only one of this type handed in in recent years," she said.

"The weapon was handed into our enquiry office member of staff who was surprised and had never seen a weapon like it. She immediately came out and mentioned it to myself, and although I am ex Military, and have had previous handling these weapons, I was surprised to see one handed in from Wiltshire.

"I am now led to believe that it is actually an AK74 not AK47 although very similar in style."

Although the two-week long campaign to surrender firearms and ammunition, to give gun owners a chance to come forward without any fear of reprisal, is just a few days old, Sergeant Hughes was pleased with its effectiveness.

"It has started well so far, it is a National surrender and not an amnesty, and all weapons of the streets of Wiltshire is good, regardless of whether they are deactivated or not," she said.

"As facing one of these weapons in the street you would not be able to tell it was unable to be fired and could have catastrophic reactions, which could clearly impact on the community.

"This encourages firearm owners to hand weapons and ammunition in during the two-week period to prevent weapons getting into the wrong hands.

"It is a National surrender and Wiltshire Police are strongly supporting this surrender campaign, we are wanting to receive as many unwanted or illegal firearms as possible off of the streets of Wiltshire police making the County safer.

"The firearms can be handed in anonymously and the person handing the firearm in will not face prosecution at the point of surrendering."

In Wiltshire, weapons and ammunition can be taken to the police stations in Marlborough, in George Lane, Melksham, Hampton Park West, Chippenham, Monkton Park and Trowbridge, Polebarn Road.

If you know of people involved in illegal firearms, call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.