Greater Manchester Police firearms manager suspended

guns seized during an amnesty
Image caption Firearms held illegally are periodically recovered by police during amnesties

A police firearms manager has been suspended amid concerns about decisions to grant gun licences to some people.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said a review of 100 existing licences revealed concerns about "the appropriateness of some of the decisions made".

A review of all 11,000 licences held across the force area has now begun.

The senior police staff member will remain suspended until an investigation has been concluded, a spokesman said.

He added that the concerns relate to a "small number of cases", and the force is building "extra safeguarding measures" into the licence application process.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett said: "In response to learning from reviews in other forces, and revisions made to national guidelines for granting firearms licences, we wanted to be confident that our processes were robust.

"We examined a sample of our existing licences, and a small number of these raised concerns to us about some of the decisions made during the application process.

"We will not be complacent when it comes to public safety, and as a result we have now decided to review all of the 11,000 firearms licences held within the Greater Manchester area.

"If we find cases that do not meet , then we will look to secure firearms and revoke licences where necessary."

Section 21 of the Firearms Act 1968 details restrictions on the possession of firearms and ammunition by those previously convicted of crime.

From July 2014, anyone receiving a suspended sentence of a minimum duration of three months or more is now prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years.

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