Anthea McIntyre has written to The Times about police claims that taxpayers are subsidising shooting.

She said:

"The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is laying it on thick, to say the least, when he claims police forces are subsidising shooting to the tune of £10 million.

"Leaving aside the suspiciously round numbers he quotes, which have the whiff of fag packet about them, his claims dodge the more important issue - the failure of police forces to make processing efficient and fit for the digital age.

"As  Mr Jamieson's local MEP and a member of the European Parliament's Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside Intergroup, I urge him to consider the evidence of gun-users themselves. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation points to long delays in licensing, engrained inefficiency, a chaotic approach to medical checks and failure to embrace new technology.

"Only two out of forty- three forces have introduced online registration systems that were promised the last time fees were raised.

"The anti-shooting lobby reveals its class-based bias in your article with the claim that people who spend £1,000 for "a day's shooting and champagne" can afford more for a gun licence.

"Guns are not a luxury toy for the wealthy but a working tool for people involved in land management, practical conservation and control of vermin that raid food stores and spread disease.

"The licensing process is an important safeguard made on society's behalf. It needs to be brought up to date."