SHOTGUNS disguised as a walking stick were among the hundreds of weapons surrendered to police across the region as part of a clampdown.

All the region’s forces operated a firearms surrender as part of a two-week national campaign allowing people safely drop off unwanted or illegally held firearms and ammunition at police stations.

In North Yorkshire a total of 229 weapons were handed in to police, including 51 shotguns, three handguns, a replica AK47 and two shotguns disguised as a walking stick.

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In Cleveland, more than 50 items were surrendered to police - an increase on the 32 weapons handed over during a similar operation in 2014.

Included in this year’s haul were six pistols, including one from WW1 and one from WW2, 17 shotguns and a large quantity of ammunition.

Inspector Mark Pitt, who co-ordinated the campaign in Cleveland, said: “Cleveland does not have a significant gun crime problem however firearms may be held in innocence and ignorance of their legality or they may be overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes.”

In County Durham and Darlington more than 60 firearms were taken out of circulation including BB guns, air rifles, replica handguns and antiques.