Lincolnshire police is to outsource its firearms licensing process to the private sector.
Two thirds of the force’s staff have transferred to G4S, a security company, including its firearms enquiry officers.
Barry Young, chairman of Lincolnshire Police Authority, said this would make Lincolnshire the “leanest police force in Britain,” and that it would contribute to the force’s goal of putting 97 per cent of its warranted officers in front-line roles.
A spokesperson for the force’s firearms licensing department said G4S would look at making the process more efficient, but that there would be no dramatic changes to firearms licensing in the area.
The 10-year contract with G4S took effect from the start of this financial year, and contains an option for an extension to 15 years.
The Association of Chief Police Officers recently proposed increases to licence fees, which would see shooters pay £93.80 for a shotgun or firearm licence. In its report it admitted the existence of “inefficiencies” within the licensing system, which it said it would work with stakeholders to address.