Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed the announced increase in firearms licensing fees.
The Home Office announced the increases on Thursday which are said to create a fairer and more effective system for forces, licence holders and the general public.
The increases will be applied to new and renewals of firearms and shotgun certificates from April 6 and will be the first time there’s been a rise since 2001.
Northumbria Police currently recoup around 80% of the cost of issuing a licence. These increases mean the granting or renewing of a firearms or shotgun certificate would become largely cost neutral for the force.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “Fees for firearms licensing are set down nationally and have remained the same for many years. I have called on the Home Office to implement these fee changes for some time, I’m pleased that they have now taken action.
“The current fees simply aren’t sufficient to cover the processes carried out by Northumbria Police to grant the certificates.
“In an average year, the force grants 600 certificates and renews 2,541. These numbers reflect the force’s large rural area within which many farmers, gamekeepers and landowners keep guns for vermin control and hunting. It’s also an area where organised shoots are common.
“Like all other forces, we are facing further deep budget cuts in Northumbria and are constantly looking at all our activities to ensure we can make savings and efficiencies.
“Anything that can help Northumbria balance the books is of course good news and the increases will see us become cost neutral when issuing or renewing a firearms certificates in the future.”