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PCC Statement on the de-alignment of the of the Alliance Firearms, Explosives and Licensing Unit

The Dorset and Devon and Cornwall Alliance Firearms, Explosives and Licensing Unit is to be de-aligned.

Following an extensive review, the decision has been made by the Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners for Dorset and for Devon & Cornwall to separate the Alliance Firearms, Explosives and Licensing Unit (FELU) into separate units for each Force area.

There have been ongoing delays to the issuing of firearms licences and alongside the significant changes in statutory guidance in firearms regulation over the last 18 months; the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the tragic events in Keyham in Devon, a decision was taken to de-align the service and to return to having two separate licensing units.

As Police and Crime Commissioner I wish to thank the people of Dorset who contributed to the survey which we conducted with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation in the Autumn of last year. The outcome of that survey, gave a clear indication that the people who took part wanted firearms licensing to return to Dorset. That allowed me to make a strong representation from the community and align with operational advantages that will drive a better service.

This change, which will take place this autumn, will bring about greater local control and accountability, and more flexibility to deal with the needs of local communities. Both I and the Chief Constable believe that bringing back separate units will result in an improved service to the Dorset public and businesses.

At present, work continues on clearing the overdue licence and certificate renewals and grants.


David Sidwick

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner


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