SOUTH Yorkshire Police has launched firearms amnesty in a bid to remove illegal guns from the streets and keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

Anyone who chooses to surrender a gun or ammunition during the 12-day amnesty will not be prosecuted, even if the weapon is illegally owned.

The amnesty will run from today until 11.59pm on November 21, and DCI Zaf Ali is urging people to bring in any unwanted or illegal firearms.

"Gun crime in South Yorkshire is relatively low and accounts for only 0.2 per cent of all crime in the county," he said. "As far as I'm concerned we need this figure to be non-existent to keep our streets safe.

"The amnesty provides an opportunity for people who hold an illegal firearm to dispose of it safely and quickly with no fear of being prosecuted for possession of the weapon.

"It also offers people the chance to safely dispose of a firearm if it’s been passed down as a family heirloom and is no longer wanted."

While the amnesty provides immunity at the time of surrendering the firearm, if the weapon is found to have been used in previous criminal activity, it will be investigated by police and there could be potential prosecutions.