Police chief praises rise in firearms licence fee

An increase in charges for firearms licensing has been welcomed by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

The region’s police force currently recoups about 80 per cent of the cost of issuing a licence for firearms, with no increase in fees since 2001.

It grants about 600 certificates a year and renews 2,541.

The rise in charges announced by the Home Office last week should now cover the costs.

Ms Baird said: “I have called on the Home Office to implement these fee changes for some time. I’m pleased it has now taken action.

“The current fees simply aren’t sufficient to cover the processes carried out by Northumbria Police to grant the certificates.

“Anything that can help Northumbria balance the books is good news and the increases will see us become cost neutral when issuing or renewing firearms certificates in the future.”

The increases apply for certificates from April 6.