Following discussion between BASC and the Home Office, BASC has been informed by the Government that there will be no increase in certificate fees this Autumn. Police representatives have been lobbying for fees increases with figures quoted from £92 to £250 for a five year certificate which currently costs £50.
A working party will be set up, which will include shooting representatives, to look at all of the costs involved in licensing and the potential cost savings of using online tools and e-commerce in the process. This will mean that police cost figures will be subject to proper scrutiny. The working party will report back in 2015. There will also be a review of GPs’ role in licensing to find a solution which helps to protect public safety, is not burdensome to administer and which does not penalise the applicant.
BASC welcomes the constructive way in which the Home Office and the Government have listened to and engaged with the concerns of people who shoot. Defra, as the sponsoring department for shooting, has taken a keen interest in the issue as has the All-Party Group for Shooting and Conservation and its chairman Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP.
Fees have not increased since 2001 and an increase will ultimately be necessary. BASC is keen to see service-level agreements made with the police to see minimum standards of service introduced. BASC will work to see that any increase is proportionate, is matched by better service across the different police constabularies and is based on reliable cost figures.
Any updates will be on the BASC web site