The large number of weapons handed in during the police amnesty is partly down to the fact that there were no similar events during the pandemic.

As Isle of Man Today reported on Thursday, the surrender brought in 112 guns, about 15,000 rounds of ammunition and 89 other weapons, with the strangest submission being a full-size harpoon gun.

There were 73 knives, five swords (including a couple of samurai swords), one set of nunchucks, two batons, two tridents, a slingshot and four throwing stars.

In terms of firearms, there were 30 magazines of ammo, ‘various’ holsters, 44 handguns (including BB guns, air pistols and live pistols), 47 rifles (including BB guns, air rifles and live rifles) and 21 shotguns.

The amnesty ran from January 16 to February 1.

This is the first campaign to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic, which explains why this haul dwarfs previous surrenders in 2017 and 2019.

In 2019, 53 firearms were collected, along with one crossbow, 80 bladed weapons, six other weapons such as knuckle dusters and noxious spray, and 520 rounds of ammunition.

Chief Inspector Daniel Rotchwell said: ‘It’s not lost on me the fact that seeing this amount of weapons, including firearms and knives, laid out might be of concern to the public.

‘The message is one of reassurance and thanks to the people who have taken the time to surrender them to us and reassurance that we do have that relationship with the public, that they do feel it is safe to dispose of these weapons in such a matter.’

The chief firearms instructor for the force, Sergeant Scott Mylchreest, said: ‘I find that if you do an amnesty every year, it won’t have the same appeal because the public could just say, “I’ll just hand this in next year”.

‘We generally run it in line with the UK ones which are every two to three years, because they find that you get better results by doing that.’

This year, the amnesty was organised around the triennial period in which all gun owners are renewing their licences.

Sgt Mylchreest said: ‘If they don’t want to renew them, then it’s the perfect opportunity to hand them over to us.

‘I personally think that if you do it every year, you won’t have the same effect.’

CI Rotchwell said: ‘In doing it in this manner there’s a legitimacy behind it and it means that actually while the criminality aspect might not be as great, there is always the risk that someone in crisis might get their hands on this.

‘By removing the weapon it removes the opportunity of any harm coming to them or other members of the public.’

A police spokesperson said: ‘We want to thank the public for their cooperation and engagement in allowing these items to be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.

‘The Isle of Man is a safe place to live and visit, and this weapons surrender is not suggesting anything other than that.’

CI Rotchwell added: ‘It’s really important to get them into safe hands.

‘We’re not suggesting that all of these weapons were involved in criminality, far from it.’