Warwickshire And West Mercia Police Respond To Gun Crime Report

15 September 2015, 13:41

Warwickshire and West Mercia police have told Heart they're "nowhere near" having a massacre in their force areas.

It's after Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary warned that could happen if the chaotic firearms licensing regime is not overhauled across the country.

The highly critical report by the police watchdog also said that lessons hadn't been learnt from tragedies like the killing of 12 people by taxi driver Derrick Bird in Cumbria in 2010.

Another weakness highlighted by the report was that medical checks carried out on those wishing to own a gun are less stringent than those prospective bus drivers go through.

When it came to the West Mercia and Warwickshire forces they were criticised specifically for not meeting the standards of Authorised Professional Practice.

The forces were also singled out for only monitoring basic numerical targets relating to the proportion of renewal applications instead.

Another cause for concern was that it takes on average around 80 days to renew a section one firearms certificate.

Stephen Otter, HM Inspector of Constabulary, who was behind the report said forces are "sometimes inexcusably compromising public safety" by failing to follow government guidance.

He said: "Firearms licensing is not an area which police forces can afford to get wrong.

"Lessons from past tragedies have not always been learnt and this fails the victims of those events, including their families, unacceptably.

"Unless things change, we run the risk of further tragedies occurring."

Chief Superintendent Stephen Cullen, who deals with firearms licensing in the Warwickshire and West Mercia areas, spoke to Heart's Mike Perkins about some of the issues the report raised...

Is it easier to get a licence to shoot a gun than drive a bus in the Warwickshire and West Mercia force areas:

Could a Massacre happen because of the way firearms licence applications are being dealt with in the Warwickshire and West Mercia force areas:

Can the Warwickshire and West Mercia forces guarantee someone who's gun licence hasn't been checked won't commit a firearms offence:

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