06/04/2015 03:09 EDT | Updated 06/04/2016 05:59 EDT

Metro Vancouver Police Offer Cash For Illegal Guns

Three pistols laying on table with bullets
Bytmonas via Getty Images
Three pistols laying on table with bullets
VANCOUVER - Police, Crime Stoppers and the Canada Border Services Agency have joined forces to launch a "Cash for Guns" campaign in Metro Vancouver.

Linda Annis, head of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, says the goal is to get at least 500 illegal guns off the streets in the next year with the help of anonymous tipsters.

Annis says anyone who provides information about illegal guns is eligible for a reward of up to $2,000, depending on who owns it and whether police have intelligence on a particular weapon.

She says gang members are a particular concern and friends and family members who know about those guns are often too afraid to inform police.

Starting this month, the campaign's message will be advertised on more than 300 billboards, bus shelters and aired on TV, radio stations and in ads at movie theatres.

RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department are involved in the program, which is modelled after others in at least two Canadian cities, including Toronto and Winnipeg.

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