Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has welcomed a pledge by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper to remove the current £17m gun licence subsidy.
Nationally, the gun licencing system costs the police £23.7m to administer – with forces only receiving £6.4m back in fees.
Mr Coppinger believes the current £50 fee needs to be increased to cover costs, which are nearer £200, with the extra revenue going back into frontline policing.
He has long campaigned on the issue, drawing it to the attention of the Home Office over a year ago.
“I fully understand that there are people, such as farmers, who need shotguns as part of their work and there are others who choose to legally own firearms and my concerns are in no way critical of them” said Mr Coppinger.
“But in such times of austerity, with police facing relentless budget cuts, it cannot be right that we are reducing police officer numbers but at the same time continuing to subsidise gun licences.
“So I welcome the pledge from Yvette Cooper that a Labour Government would remove this subsidy and I hope other parties will make a similar commitment.”
Posted on Friday 26th September 2014