1 June 2016 – The newly-elected police and crime commissioner for Kent, Matthew Scott, has said he is making extra resources available to tackle his county’s firearms licensing problems.
The email, sent to Kent voters and seen by UK Shooting News, reads:
Following concerns expressed to me about delays to the firearms licencing process, I can announce that I have made extra resources available to Kent Police in order to address the backlogs with new applications, renewals, and expired certificates.
Firearms licensing is an important legal process that is in place to help us maintain our strict gun laws. Residents applying for these certificates are simply trying to comply with the legislation, and so I promised that I would take urgent action to ensure that the backlog and waiting times could be addressed.
Together with Kent Police’s plans for a longer-term solution, I hope that this funding will make a difference.
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner
UKSN has contacted Scott by email to ask for further details.
Scott’s office sent us a press release, and the relevant parts say:
“Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has released £39,000 of funding to Kent Police in order to speed up the backlog of firearms licences to be issued. As a rural county, Kent has a large number of registered firearms owners – approximately 27,000 – many of whom include land owners, farmers, and members of gun clubs.”
Mr Scott said: ‘Together with Kent Police’s plans for a longer-term solution, I hope that this funding will make a difference.’
The increased funding will ensure extra staff are available to help clear the backlog of licence renewals and new applications, which currently stands at around nine months. Renewal applicants have in the meantime been issued with temporary licenses.