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CC Andy Marsh: Work already underway to address HMIC concerns on firearms licensing

15 Sep 2015

National Police Chiefs Council Lead on Firearms Licensing, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, has responded to today’s (Tuesday) report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – ‘Targeting the Risk’ – on the issue of firearms licensing.

Chief Constable Marsh said:

 

“I am pleased to welcome today’s inspection report on firearms licensing from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – an inspection which I took the unprecedented step of asking for as the national policing lead on the topic.

 

“I did so because I believe it must be a priority for the police service to protect public safety, prevent avoidable harm and provide excellent service and value for taxpayers’ money.

 

“England and Wales are among the safest countries in the world when it comes to the risk posed not only by firearms in general but in particular by legally-held firearms, and the gun-owning community here constitutes an overwhelmingly responsible group of almost three-quarters of a million people.

 

“However, we do recognise that there has been a lack of consistency on the part of some individual forces in how we play our part in the process of licensing firearms. This is something we will play our part in addressing, but it must also be noted that, with over 30 pieces of legislation governing firearms licensing, this means that navigating these laws leaves too much room for ambiguity and inconsistency.

 

“In addition to the service looking to its own house in dealing with the issues raised in this report, I have also made a submission on behalf of policing to the Law Commission as it examines this mass of governing legislation, in which I support the codification of all the current legislation into one Act which will allow for a much more consistent approach.

 

“I look forward to working with HMIC, government, forces and other partner agencies as we address the Inspectorate’s recommendations. Work is already underway at the College of Policing to identify the skills required by staff involved in the firearms licensing process. Discussions have taken place with the national firearms and explosives licensing working group to explore this with the aim of developing national accredited training.”

 

ENDS

 

Further info: The HMIC press release and report link may be found here.