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Cumbria’s Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (Commissioner), David Allen, has received assurance from Cumbria Constabulary’s Chief Constable Rob Carden that the backlog in firearms recertification will reduce. Additional resources have been placed in the Constabulary’s Firearms Licensing Department to ensure applications will be handled more efficiently.

Commissioner David Allen said: “During my election campaign, one of the key concerns that the public raised with me was the backlog firearms licensing.

“In my first week I have raised this issue with the Chief Constable Rob Carden.

“The Chief has assured me that they have put extra resources into the Firearms Licensing Department and that significant improvements have been made to reduce this backlog for both renewals of licensing and also new certificate requests.

“I will be holding the Chief Constable to account over this and receiving regular updates on their progress which I will be sharing.”

Chief Constable Rob Carden said “We are aware of concerns from the community regarding the previous delays in the granting and renewal of shotgun certificates and firearms licenses and I would like to apologise for these delays.

“Cumbria has a large agricultural community meaning we have a significant number of firearm and shotgun certificate holders. Historically, our Firearms Licensing Department have successfully managed the volume of applications with manageable backlogs, however, there have been several factors that have led to this backlog increasing significantly and this not being resolved.

In response to these concerns, the Constabulary has established an organisation wide operation, which is a robust action plan with strict governance, and oversight, to ensure that the backlog is reduced as quickly as possible. New processes and procedures are also being implemented so that this situation doesn’t happen again.

“Since 1st April 2024 the backlog has reduced significantly, with focus being on those certificates that are the highest priority following a triage process and we are continuing to reduce the backlog on a daily basis.

“Cumbria Constabulary is committed to driving down these backlogs and delivering a high standard of service, that the public would expect from us. Once again, I apologise for these delays and would like to thank people for their ongoing patience whilst we get this situation resolved.”