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Have your say on firearms licensing changes

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster is asking people to make their voices count in a new national review of firearms licensing.

A new survey has been launched by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) to gauge public opinion on stricter licensing rules to increase public safety.

It follows the tragic deaths of five people in Plymouth and a Home Office review that is expected to bring new statutory guidance for all police forces on the licensing of guns in England and Wales.

The survey asks for the public's views on the amount of scrutiny medical records and social media posts should be given when officers assess applications and whether or not applicants should pay the full costs of having their request processed.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: "I welcome the Home Office's review and urge local people, including current and former gun licence holders, to contribute their feedback to influence this process.

"Derbyshire has a large rural community and it is important we get it right for everyone, including the licence holders themselves. Any changes to the system must be proportionate, fair and well-informed.

"The overwhelming majority of gun licence holders in England and Wales are sensible and responsible. If improvements can deliver greater consistency and higher standards of decision-making to protect the public from misuse then it is absolutely right we have those discussions."

Marc Jones, Chair of the APCC, added: "There has been heightened public concern following the recent shooting of five people in Plymouth. I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my sympathies to all those affected by that tragic incident, and indeed to all victims of gun crime.

"The Home Office is currently reviewing arrangements for the licensing of guns and will shortly be introducing new statutory guidance to be followed by all police forces. Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to be the public's voice in policing and so we want to hear what the public thinks about these issues, so we can feed those views to the Home Office."

The survey can be completed online in a few minutes and will remain open for responses until Wednesday 20 October. It can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5J7PV2K

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