WILTSHIRE Police is supporting a national surrender scheme to get dangerous weapons off the streets.

Under the scheme, which was launched by the Home Office yesterday, offensive weapons that will soon be prohibited as well as rapid firing rifles, which fire at a rate closer to semi-automatic rifles, can be surrendered to the police.

Lawful owners will be able to claim compensation for the items in most cases.

This follows the Offensive Weapons Act which bans possession of dangerous and offensive weapons in private.

The list of weapons includes zombie knives, cyclone knives, knuckledusters, death star knives, flick knives, gravity knives, batons, disguised knives, push daggers and other offensive weapons. It was already illegal to possess a knife or offensive weapon in public.

Crime and Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, said: "I am committed to ensuring our streets are safe from the scourge of violent crime.

"We are prohibiting ownership of dangerous weapons which have a high potential for causing harm - every item surrendered is one which can no longer fall into the hands of criminals.

"The government's top priority will always be keeping the public safe and we are ensuring that our laws and police powers deliver on these commitments."

The scheme will run for three months from December 10 to March 9. Lawful owners will be able to claim compensation if the total value of the claim is more than £30. Claims can be submitted to the police using a form.

This scheme is in addition to knife amnesties that are routinely conducted by police forces.

National Police Chiefs' Council lead on knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: "Tackling knife crime and reducing violence is a top priority for policing.

"The surrender scheme will enable us to remove dangerous weapons off the streets and assist in keeping our communities safe.

"Every weapon removed is possibly a life saved and I urge people to please help us make our streets safer."

The full surrender scheme applies in England and Wales which relates to certain knives and other offensive weapons, as well as rapid firing rifles, their ancillary equipment and bump stocks.

The scheme extends to Scotland and Northern Ireland only with respect to firearms, their ancillary equipment and bump stocks.

Guidance is available providing a list of items covered, guidance on how to travel with and surrender weapons safely, and compensation levels.

Once you have completed the relevant paperwork, you should check our website for the opening times of your local enquiry office.

Any firearms licence holder who has items eligible for compensation under this scheme will be contacted by Firearms Licensing and arrangements will be made for them to be dealt with by appointment only.