The United Kingdom’s National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) is conducting a new gun surrender program from Nov. 13 to Nov. 26 after gun crime in England and Wales increased by more than a quarter in the past year.

The Office for National Statistics found a 27 percent increase in crimes involving firearms during its most recent review of crime data. Despite a near ban on the civilian ownership of handguns the review found crimes committed with handguns increased by 25 percent and accounted for the majority of gun crimes. The agency said the increases in 2016 were part of a multiyear trend.

“The latest rise continues an upward trend seen in firearms offences in the last few years, however, offences are still 31 percent below a decade ago,” the most recent annual report from the agency said. “Over the last year, over two-thirds (32 of the 439) of police forces recorded a rise in offences involving firearms.”

NABIS cited the statistics as part of the reason it decided to undertake a new gun surrender program this month.

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