HC Deb 26 February 1998 vol 307 cc310-1W
Mr. Stunell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what is the anticipated average time for payment of compensation between the submission of a claim and its authorisation in respect of the handing in of .22 target pistols; and what has been the average time achieved to date for the payment of compensation; [31084]

(2) what is the total amount (a) claimed and (b) paid out to date under the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997; and what is the anticipated cost of administering the scheme in the first 12 months of operation. [31079]

Mr. Michael

As at 20 February 1998, a total of £36.7 million had been paid under the statutory compensation scheme for large calibre handguns and the ex gratia payment scheme for small calibre pistols voluntarily surrendered. The total amount claimed will not be known until all claims and applications have been examined.

The average processing time for claims and ex gratia applications dealt with from the start of the scheme has been 13.8 weeks. It is not possible to say at this stage what the average processing time will be for claims under the new statutory surrender scheme for small-calibre pistols. Work will begin on these claims as soon as the overall work position permits.

The central administration costs of all three schemes in 1997–98 are £6.4 million including £3.4 million in direct grants to police forces in England, Wales and Scotland.