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People in Suffolk are being given three months to surrender certain items that will soon be classed as offensive weapons under new legislation coming into force.

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 introduces the new legislation as part of the Government’s response to serious violence, that gives the police the powers to tackle the issue. The Act includes new measures to control the sale of knives and corrosive substances, it also introduces new offences relating to their possession and use and will bring in new knife crime prevention.

Under the new laws, the possession of specified rapid firing rifles, bump stocks, knives and offensive weapons for public safety, will be prohibited.

In order to ensure the public can dispose of these items safely, a three month surrender period starts today, Thursday 10 December and will run until Tuesday 9 March 2021. During this time the lawful owners of these weapons can begin to surrenders them to the police and submit a claim form for compensation from the Home Office.

Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman head of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team said: "It is extremely important that anyone who is currently in possession of one of the above items, is aware of the change in legislation. Although there is a three month surrender period, we urge lawful owners of these items to either return them to a designated police station or contact their local licencing department as soon as possible. The reason for this being that anyone found in possession of these items after the surrender period will effectively be in possession of an illegal weapon or firearm and could face up to ten years in prison.

Please ensure that when you are transporting items to one of the designated police stations, you do so in a safe manner. This includes wrapping items or placing them in a bag or a box, if possible. Please also make sure that you do not take the items out until you are requested to do so by a police officer or member of staff. 

Members of the public should also continue to adhere to the Covid regulations when attending stations by making sure they are wearing a mask and socially distancing from those around them.

If possible, please call 101 beforehand to ensure officers or staff are aware of your visit.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Tim Passmore said: " I’d just like to stress how important it is for anyone who owns any of these weapons to hand them in as a matter of urgency. Laws change for good reason and I would not want anyone who holds these weapons now quite legally, to find themselves in trouble when the law changes in March 2021.”

Those in possession of knives or other offensive weapons must fill in the following Offensive Weapons Act Surrender and Compensation Scheme Formbefore bringing this and the item(s) to a police station designated for the purpose. This form must be completed regardless of whether the owner is seeking compensation or not. Owners should also bring valid Identification and proof of ownership - this could be a receipt of purchase or something similar.

In Suffolk, the designated police stations are either Ipswich (Museum Street), Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.

To surrender Firearms, relevant certificate holders are likely to be contacted by force licencing departments, with arrangements to be made to collect these items from their homes, rather than requiring them to attend a police station. Please take all reasonable steps to make the firearm safe to handle.

If you have not been contacted by the Firearms Licencing Unit, then please call Chris Wright on 07770831503 or email: christopher.wright3@norfolk.police.uk.

For more information about the scheme, including a full list of the above items, the forms and whether you are eligible for compensation, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offensive-weapons-act-surrender-and-compensation-scheme


East Suffolk has seen a number of motor vehicle offences recently, with 82 reported since the 1st of September.
Most have been the theft of the motor vehicle itself, with Theft From (31 offences) and Interference With a Motor Vehicle (14 offences) also featuring. The offences where the vehicle has been stolen appear to target newer, high value cars with remote, keyless entry.

So how do criminals steal these vehicles?

Car Key Hacking - The Smart Way To Steal A Car

What is car key hacking?

Key hacking is when thieves attack built-in systems that can unlock a car when the key is nearby, without having to press a button on the fob or put a key in the lock.

If close to the car, the key sends a short-range signal that tells it to unlock, even if it’s in your handbag or pocket.

But car thieves have devised ways to scan for and hack the signal to give them access to some cars

How does car key hacking work?

Key hacking is also known as ‘relay theft’. Thieves use electronic car key relay boxes, putting one near your home to receive signals coming from your car key fob through the walls or windows.

This first box then boosts the signal to a second device near the car, to trick it into registering the key as nearby and unlocking the doors.

How can you prevent thieves hijacking your key fob signal?

You can use a two-pronged approach to prevent your car being stolen:

•Take preventative measures (see key fob blockers below) to stop someone from stealing your key fob signal

•Make sure all software has been updated on your vehicle

•Use steering locks and other preventative measures that will put thieves off attempting to drive off with your car

Drivers with keyless systems can take precautions to prevent their vehicles being stolen including storing their keys in protective cases so the signal can’t be cloned, or even switching off the keyless feature on the fob if it is an option. Try to avoid storing your keys by the front door – it may not be fail-safe but get into the habit of leaving your keys well away from your vehicle, such as at the back of the house.”

What is a car key fob blocker?

Car key signal blockers are metal-lined key wallets or special bags designed to keep your keys safe, also known as Faraday bags.

They’re relatively inexpensive at around £5 upwards, but not all are of the same quality. What are a few extra pounds when you consider the value of the vehicle it’s protecting?

Be sure to test the bag once you've bought it to make sure it works, by holding it close to the car with the key in and checking whether or not it opens.

Make sure you put the keys in the bag as soon as you have locked the car, and don't forget to use one for your spare car key in the house. If you get one large enough, you can also pop your mobile in it which blocks the signal so you won't be distracted by your phone while you are driving.

For information about how to reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted, follow this link to the ‘First Principle’ page of the Suffolk Constabulary website




Suffolk Constabulary is warning pet owners to take extra care after seeing a number of dog thefts this year. Sergeant Brian Calver said: "Organised crime groups are actively targeting addresses, with working breeds tending to be those that are favoured by criminals. "The loss of any pet can be devastating to owners, with the added trauma of not knowing what sort of conditions the dog is being subjected to. We would advise dog owners to review security of any outdoor kennels.” 

There have been 12 confirmed cases where dogs have been stolen within the county this year, and Sgt Calver said all bar one of the incidents involved the theft of dogs that would be classed as working gun breeds. 

Security measures to prevent thefts include good quality locks and lighting, while consideration should be given to CCTV and sensors as these offer an early alert to the presence of intruders.  

Gardens should be well secured with fencing or hedges, while gates should be kept locked.  

Owners are advised not to leave dogs out in open gardens and yards when they are not at home and, if possible, they should be brought into the house overnight.  

Ensure your dog is chipped and, if neutered, mark the dog’s tag as such as this makes them less attractive to thieves that may want to steal them for breeding. When out walking, if you let your dog off the lead, don’t allow it to leave your sight. 

Sgt Calver also advised dog owners to ensure they were not giving away personal details online. He said: "Consider your security on social media and avoid giving away details that may highlight your address and the fact you have a dog which could be attractive to thieves. We would encourage you to be vigilant of suspicious persons seen around addresses, or any cold callers. Please report such activity, with descriptions of the individuals and their vehicles, as well as sharing those concerns on local watch groups.” 

Sgt Calver also urged owners of other pets to be wary of thieves, saying birds had been stolen too. 

Anybody with any information regarding the theft of dogs or other pets is encouraged to contact Suffolk police via: 

Website: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update


Crimestoppers – Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Phone – call 101 

Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999. 

General crime prevention advice can be found by visiting www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z


Suffolk Police would like to remind residents during the summer season to regularly check that their garden gates, sheds, garages, outbuildings and barns are locked and secure.  

This follows a number of burglaries and attempted burglaries of sheds, garages & outbuildings in various locations across the County.

In many cases, various gardening equipment such as ride-on lawnmowers, push lawnmowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers, electrical equipment, tools etc have been stolen.

We recommend that all property is security marked, insured, secured and locked away after being used.   

Security advice can be found on our website under 1st Principle for Shed/garage security and property marking guidance (see links below). 

We also would like to remind residents that often, tools left out can also be used to commit other crimes such as dwelling burglaries.

Find 1st Principle Security advice on the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk  or via this link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/shedandgaragesecurity1.pdf  

Register serial numbers of tools and equipment via Immobilise https://www.immobilise.com/  and make a personal record.  This will help identify items if they are found, and speed up the process of returning items to the owners.

A list of security products can be viewed via - http://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/security_product_brochure.pdf

 Click here for the most recent newsletter from Suffolk Constabulary

Police are urging members of the public to consider installing extra crime prevention measures such as CCTV, security lighting and doorbell cameras as a way to help make their properties more secure. See below

Visit http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/home-safety for further home security advice.

Phone: Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Phone – Call 101

Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999