Police wanting to drop re-licensing home visits to save cash

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by theinventor, Feb 18, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Essex, Herts & Buck plod have decided that there's no need for home visits at SGC/FAC renewal time... minister steps in and makes a fuss. BBC News - Minister intervenes in gun licence row.

    They may have a point: "We are taking a risk-based approach to this, we can show that only 0.2% of home visits actually lead to a revocation of a certificate in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire...Unfortunately in the current climate policing is having 20% removed from its budgets we have to make best use of that money and we are adopting a risk-based approach." Standard plod approach to lack of cash: reluctantly offer to stop doing something until someone makes a fuss or a incident occurs then the money starts flowing again. Mind you there's plenty of other evidence that the whole licensing process makes only a tiny dent in the number of inappropriately used weapons...

    "...A firearms licensing officer, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC that police forces only recovered a quarter of the cost of the work involved around licensing and renewals from the cost of the licence..." Given this government's "you want it - you pay for it" approach to public services I think there's a reasonable chance we'll end up seeing an increase in the fee for SGC/FAC. Get your renewals/applications in quick!
  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The fees are there to reflect the amount spent. The problem is they claim its for public safety so therefore the FCC always argued that the Public Purse should bear the cost as it is for public safety. If its not for public safety why have licensing? I dont fly but my taxes ensure CAA exists. I dont sail a boat but I help fund HM Coastguard and the air sea rescue through my taxes! If the public need protecting from me then they should pay. I pay for the administration of my requests not for public safety!
  3. How about they stop doing it altogether and we have a national firearms licensing body that does it instead?

    That's not really a new idea though is it?
  4. It is entirely possible that this is due to the home visits doing what they are supposed to do...Ensure people store weapons/ammunition properly.
  5. Got a question for those in the know about FACs
    My son is 15 and has started shooting at a gun club.
    At some point he will want his own gun, so whats the score with him getting a FAC ?
    I don't shoot (can't afford another expensive hobby!!) and are not therefore a member of a club, so can he get a gun under my name ? or do I have to be a gun club member to show good reason to be applying for a FAC ?

    thanks in advance fellas
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    But a home visit is meant to take place during the renewal process and to check if security needs upgrading, if the applicant wants a standard renewal with nothing new then why visit? That said a visit report is only valid whilst the FEO is there, its like an MOT, nothing to stop me leaving the cabinets unlocked all year for 5 more years is there?
    So stop the waste of public money!
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Nothing to stop him having an FAC, you having one would mean him having one as well. Does the club provide storage, if so at his age it would possibly be a condition that the rifles are stored at the club, otherwise they may be a little odd about him having access to firearms. He cant buy a firearm or ammunition nor can anyone sell them to a young person however they can be given!
    "7.15 A person under seventeen is
    prohibited by section 22 of the 1968 Act
    from purchasing or hiring any firearm or
    ammunition defined by sections 57(1) and
    (2) of that Act, or as defined by section 1
    of the 1982 Act (readily convertible
    replicas). This includes convertible imitation
    firearms, smooth-bore guns, air weapons,
    shot cartridges, blank ammunition and pellets
    for air weapons. There are ways that they
    can legitimately acquire (for example, by
    accepting these as a gift or by borrowing)
    the firearms and ammunition exempted from
    sections 1 and 2 of the 1968 Act (that is, air
    weapons not declared specially dangerous),
    but their possession of them is limited in
    the ways indicated in paragraphs 7.2 to
    7.4. They may also acquire other than by
    purchase or hire, firearms or ammunition to
    which section 1 of the 1968 Act applies,
    providing that they are in possession of a
    valid firearm certificate which applies to the
    firearms or ammunition concerned."
    for chapter and verse look here:Document Summary. Section 7 deals with Young persons and like all laws takes a bit of reading!
  8. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    I've just had my first home check [OK, a different jurisdiction] on renewal. Never had one for the original issue, even though I brought stuff from UK!

    So a month or so after the new FAC was delivered, I get a call asking for a Police home check [they have no automatic right of access]. Policeman comes, shown where things are stored [pistols in one mini safe, ammo in another]. Photo taken, that's it, sorted.

    Check whether everything is present - no.
    Check serial numbers - no.
    Check whether safes are locked - no.
    Check whether safes are bolted down - no.
    Check where air rifle is located - no.
    Check whether air rifle is secured - no.

    Complete waste of time, in any practical sense. :x

    Many years ago I moved to Cambridgeshire, and asked about a check of storage arrangements. The Firearms Officer's reply was interesting and unusual ... "We don't have time for that nonsense. The Law requires you to keep things secure; if we find you're not complying with the Law, we'll spend the time on that." Not a problem in my case, as everything was stored in the Stn Armoury anyway! ;-)
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The plod have no right of access either and they know this, definitions of adequate for secure storage are often open to misinterpretation. It seems some forces demand seperate storage of rifle bolts but I have never seen the sense in this. I also have had plod once ask to open the cabinets and see if he could pull them off the wall. He didnt see that an open cabinet didnt need stealing!
  10. Hard to see that anything good will come out of Police budgets cuts - simply higher fees/ slower "service".

    If the Condems had any real intention to roll back the State and undo some of the repressions on personal freedoms, then this might have conceivably translated into an opportunity for a more enlightened Police attitude to firearm ownership. So long as an FAC holder is (a) certified to hold firearms (b) maintains reasonable security for firearms - what is the need for restrictions on types and numbers of held firearms; why impose minimum use of held firearms; why restrict access of youngsters to shooting sports; etc, etc?
  11. Cheers Ugly, appreciated
  12. The self same plod who wanted to scrap the 5 year vists also wanted to introduce "random" visits, which would be an entertaining concept were it not so patently unworkable and clearly dreamt up by numpties.

    So no surprise then that the Campaign for Plain English rated the Hertfordshire Constabulary and Bedfordshire Police press release as as one of the worst examples of corporate management-speak they have ever seen.


    By Corporate Communication Dept

    "Collaborative initiatives between Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary have succeeded in delivering enhanced services, whilst realising considerable efficiencies in a number of areas.

    Firearms Licensing is one of several functions that has been reviewed and proposals have been developed for joint working, with a collaborative unit due to be established at the start of March.

    With a view to carrying out this function in the most effective and efficient way possible, the proposals include the withdrawal of routine home visits to people renewing their licences, an approach which has already been adopted by a number of forces across the country.

    The new approach will see the introduction of a risk-assessed process where enhanced intelligence checks will identify those who should receive a home visit. In addition a programme of random visits to licence holders will be introduced without waiting for the expiry of their current licence.

    We will continue to be robust in our monitoring systems and seek to take action to revoke licences and remove weapons from anyone who poses a threat to public safety at the earliest opportunity and not wait for the five year renewal process.

    No changes are proposed in the detailed checks, which include home visits, we carry out when considering an initial application for a licence.

    Research by the Collaboration Team has shown that across a sample of representative forces only 0.2% of licence holders had their licence revoked for any reason.

    At a time of significant reductions in police funding it is important that we review those areas where processes can be refined and savings made without impacting on public safety.

    Currently Firearms Licensing is subsidised by non-licence holders as the fees for licences only provide for 16% of the cost of providing the service. These fees are nationally set and cannot be altered locally. Whilst this is being examined by the Home Office we need to make best use of public funds.

    The new approach will provide the public of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire with a robust service that delivers more timely, risk-assessed interventions to continue to ensure public safety whilst also saving money."

    Essex Plod did however manage a somewhat shorter version:

    "We are moving towards gun licence renewal notices by post rather than the current practice of making personal visits. The move is currently under consultation."

    See what happens when you do not have the benefit of a "Corporate Communication Department"?
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    So dawn raids then?