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Mayor’s silence on ending the drain on Met resources over firearm licensing is shameful – Caroline Pidgeon

January 26, 2015 7:04 PM

has been confirmed that the Mayor of London failed to respond to a recent Home Office consultation on proposed changes to firearm licence fees, despite the fact that nearly all Police and Crime Commissioners around the country have long advocated changes to the fees to ensure that vital police resources are not drained away by subsiding the licensing system.

At present the cost of a 5-year firearm licence of £50 has been frozen since 2001. It is widely recognised that the current fees only fund a fraction of the real bill facing any police force in undertaking vital security checks and administering the licensing system which helps protect the public.

At the end of 2014 the Home Office undertook an important consultation to both modernise the licensing system and to recommend an increase in the licensing fee. In reply to a recent Mayoral Question asked by Caroline Pidgeon the Mayor finally admitted that he had not taken part in this key consultation. He has also failed to express any public opinion on changes to the licensing system.

Commenting on the decision by Boris Johnson to not take part in the Home Office consultation Caroline Pidgeon said:

"It is appalling that the Mayor has failed to get behind the campaign from across the country to finally sort out the firearms licensing system. His silence on ending this drain on Met resources is shameful.

"Despite being the elected Police and Crime Commissioner for London he has failed to stand alongside other Police and Crime Commissioners and support much needed reforms.

"Every year the Metropolitan Police Service is subsidising firearm owner by millions of pounds. Vital Met resources are being drained away due to the failure to sort out the firearm licensing system.

"Perhaps instead of posing with guns in Iraq the Mayor should spend more time addressing a key issue that concerns Police and Crime Commissioners from around the country in the UK.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Some examples of views expressed by Police and Crime Commissioners over the current firearm licences fees are enclosed:

http://www.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/notts-police-and-crime-commissioner-urges-pm-to-increase-firearms-licencing-fees-1-6816588

http://www.kent-pcc.gov.uk/home.php?entry_id=1413898497

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-27031957

http://www.westerngazette.co.uk/Police-Crime-Commissioner-calls-end-firearm/story-22803704-detail/story.html

http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/83371/commissioner-backs-calls-to-review-firearms-licence-cost

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/11424717.Crime_Commissioner_hits_out_at_PM_over_gun_licences/

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/11425106.Audio___Dorset_taxpayers_are_subsidising_gun_owners____PCC_attacks_David_Cameron_over_firearm_licence_fees_decision/?ref=mac

http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/politics/5million-cost-of-subsidising-gun-ownership-1-6465420

http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/GUN-FEES-Increase-licence-charge-backed/story-25011819-detail/story.html

http://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/News-and-Events/News-Archive/2014/Jul-Sep/PCC-criticises-Prime-Minister-for-shooting-down-rise-in-gun-licensing-fees.aspx

2. The Home Office consultation on changes to the firearm licence system ended on the 29th December 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-launched-on-raising-firearms-licence-fees

3. The Mayor's reply to a written question from Caroline Pidgeon is enclosed. The Mayor's reply to this written question was finally provided on Thursday 22nd January 2015.

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_279344