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Good and bad experiences with different force

ugly

LE
Moderator
#1
firearms departments. let us know which areas of the met are sensible and which counties are any good.
In Sussex we are waiting on Rodney Ash's replacement to take the job. it was advertised and I seriously considered applying but not being an ex inspector on a full pension that salary wouldnt have gone Far!
Brian Ellis the previous manager was in the chair before Ash had a reputation for being difficult. Lets hope the new one is more like Ash.
Nowadays applicants for sporting certs in Sussex can name drop my name and it works, mind you its been a 20 year uphill struggle to get recognised.
I have had fun and games with the newish batch of FEO's who really dont know weapons or firearms law. Our local one was a traffic warden but in the 5 years he has been here he has turned into a valuable ally.
 
#2
Based on my experience Kent are good and to date efficient.
An initial problem was sorted with a phone call.
Paperwork dealt with pretty quickly
The Enquiry Officer was efficient.
Given a timescale of 4 to 6 weeks for the issue- One week gone so far
 
#3
Wiltshire has a good reputation and my FEO is an ex monkey who does at least understand my service rifle disciplines; which I'm told Hampshire don't, although a mate says they are getting better.
Dorset also have a good reputation for being sensible.
 
#4
ugly said:
firearms departments. :et us know which areas of the met are sensible and which counties are any good.
In Sussex we are waiting on Rodney Ash's replacement to take the job. it was advertised and I seriously considered applying but not being an ex inspector on a full pension that salary wouldnt have gone Far!
Brian Ellis the previous manager was in the chair before Ash had a reputation for being difficult. Lets hope the new one is more like Ash.
Nowadays applicants for sporting certs in Sussex can name drop my name and it works, mind you its been a 20 year uphill struggle to get recognised.
I have had fun and games with the newish batch of FEO's who really dont know weapons or firearms law. Our local one was a traffic warden but in the 5 years he has been here he has turned into a valuable ally.
Uggers - is this not centralised in the Met now - with CO19?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
If it is then let everyone know, last I dealt with them they were area based.
It seems to be a given that rural forces respond better than urban ones, a couple of years ago there was a rash of variations and applications when it looked like west Mids was going to swallow up warwickshire and Staffs, both were good forces for sporting shooters unlike the occupants of Steelhouse lane!
 
#6
PSNI are generally very helpful to mil/ex-mil who are looking to get a FAC. The Firearms and Explosives Unit, which deals with applications, has been under-resourced for a long time, but now has more staff and the processing times have gone from 6-11 months to around 8 weeks.

I've found the local Firearms Liaison officers superb; very knowledgeable, friendly and relaxed. They will point new applicants in the direction of a suitable club if needed.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
I'm surprised they were so good, were you living in the sticks? Forces with large cities or mainly dealing with large cities dont seem to be very interested in the sticks.
 
#11
No I'm urban but I got my SGC through in 4 weeks. Northumbria aren't bad because they have a very large rural area to serve as well as the cities.
 
#13
No problems with Fife for my SGC, 5 weeks for SGC. FEO did apologise for the delay apparantly they can do it mch quicker. I thought 5 weeks was great compared to others I have heard off.

FEO was great when he came to visit, Tone changed when he heard i was Ex-forces.
Very pleased with Fife constabulary
 
#14
Dyfed Powys were pretty sensible but were very sllllllllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwww at processing things, and the office staff were prone to telling porkies! (I was repeatedly told my FAC had been posted when it hadn't, as the final postmark demonstrated)

I've had a patchy experience with Kent, my FEO is brilliant and very level headed, but again the office staff have been problematic, the woman in charge tried to insist I did DSC1 before getting a deer condition (And only DSC1, other courses 'weren't recognised') however, a letter pointing out I'd spoken to BASC and the BDS, and was fully conversant with the legislation, led to a swift back down. They even granted me a fully open cert 9 months later and after only 4 years with an FAC. :)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
I found that by exposing plod to experts in their fields especially firearms laws then backing it up with comments such as BDS/BASC are quite clear on the matter then I usually win through. Some arguments take many months to win and only if you have a good licensing manager.
I for one will miss Rodney Ash when he is replaced, I can only hope that his replacement is another retired traffic div inspector as they only stick to the letter of the law and dont try and put their own interpretation on it!
 
#16
North Yorkshire and Wiltshire both very good, as were Lothian & Borders a few years ago. The RUC were fantastic and could turn round a Certificate of Approval (NI authority for a UK FAC) while you waited.

I have no personal experience, but I have heard that Central Police in Scotland (Stirling) are dreadful. A recent Chief Constable was quoted as saying that he wanted no FACs etc issued by his force and that as a result they made everyone jump through so many hoops with delays in order to put people off.
 
#17
Cheshire were fine with my application when I added FAC to SGC, on the times I've had to call them they've been on the ball and actually returned calls when they said they would.

We'll see what they're like when I bung a variation on.
 
#18
Surrey mostly OK although the experience may vary. Bloke who normally deals with me knows his stuff and moves things along.

But one time made the mistake of putting a variation in whilst he was on holiday and found myself dealing with someone best described as keen but with very limited experience. God that was painful.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
I have had stalking clients come to me from Surrey, DSC1 and 1 years paid stalking experience but still denied own FAC! Seem an odd bunch!
 
#20
royalmile said:
North Yorkshire and Wiltshire both very good, as were Lothian & Borders a few years ago.
Agreed on Lothian & Borders. When licensing was run centrally from Force HQ in Fettes, they were great - I got a variation on a European Firearms Pass turned around in a day or so (I had a good excuse, and they couldn't have been more helpful); at the time they were using PCs as licensing officers.

These days, they've civilianised the role and moved it out to the Divisional HQs. Even so, they've still been very efficient, and very helpful.