Public Service Announcement. West Mercia FA holders.

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by PE4rocks, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. Been meaning to post this for a month, :roll: silly old fool that I am.

    Long story;

    1. Coterminous Certs. due May last year, held on to last safe moment to send off renewal as West Mercia says that old Certs must accompany application.
    2. Waited.
    3. Cheque cashed by police.
    4. Waited.
    5. Received two letters in August, separated by a week or so, saying that 'My custom was important to them, please don't phone and ask what the form is as the people who answer the phone are busy doing your certificate etc. You get the idea.
    6. Logic dictates I don't write a letter either as it would take even longer to write a reply etc.
    7. Waited.
    8. In January one of my news feeds tells of a Police authority webcast with CC present and feel free to send questions.
    9. So I did. Asking whether the service that I had (already) paid for but not received was efficient and the way forward.
    10. A few days later and, IIRC, two days before the webcast I get a phone call from Firearms saying that they would like to call on the following day and hand-deliver my certs.
    11. Man comes, does checks, gives me certs. It transpires that due to under-manning due to pregnancy, people off sick etc. there is a huge backlog, some outstanding from previous Jan! Seems my complaint had triggered action on the day the police national firearms computer was being updated during office hours, thus meaning my visitor could not actually do anything that day and so allow this visit!
    12. I note that my new cert started on the day following the expiry of my old one, giving the impression I have been free to follow my sport(s) continuously. Never mind the fact that I have held firearms illegally through no fault of my own(mostly)
    13. Problem is that everyone is doing what I did, until I reached "Fuckit, I may as well do something." point.
    14. Have since received a wholly inadequate letter from some Chief Super explaining, well, nothing.

    The point of my post is that, as far as the police hierarchy is concerned, there is no problem. Until someone breaks cover.

    I was encouraged to get others to write, email or otherwise complain. The processors are doing their best, apparently, but more people need to highlight the problems. I was, in fact, thanked for my emails and assured that people complaining should not worry that it would 'go against them' in their dealings with the unit.

    That is all.
  2. Mongo

    Mongo LE Reviewer

    Surely you should have lodged them with an RFD? I guess that's what I'll do when it comes time for my FAC renewal and if West Sussex cock it up! Luckily though I know a very friendly RFD about an hour away, I guess most aren't as lucky!

    Edit: saw this on another forum... Disgraceful!

  3. Which West Mercia division are you in PE4? Some of the FEOs are apparently better than others at chasing up Worcester.
  4. I had an interesting conversation with the police regarding the storage of firearms if the certificate has not been returned on time by the police. I was informed that, as the documentation is 'in the system' the firearms were covered. I had, on several occasions expressed concern as the nearest RDF is a ferry ride of several hours away and I felt that in the strictest interpretation of the law I could be found in breach.

    Methinks the interpretation has more to do with the distance and grief that shifting said firearms would cause.
  5. F. My local guy has been commuting on a daily basis from Shrewsbury to Malvern to help out. That'll be nice and cheap then.
    Doubtless expenses like those will be used to justify the increase in price of the certificate as, apparently, they "lose" £ 57 per application at the moment.
    Total bollocks of course but doubtless they have taken advice from council licensing departments in the art of Maskirovka.
  6. You were right to be suspicious! Its not true at all. If your certificate has run out and you have not been issued with a new one, then you're not holding your firearms legally. You can take comfort from the fact that the people who would come knocking on your door to take them away are the same people who have failed to renew your certificate in time - but the fact remains that all this "we've cashed your cheque so you're covered" is so much sh!t.

    When your original certificate runs out you should demand a temporary certificate under Sect 7 of the Firearms Act. I got one last year during my 10 month wait for an FEO visit on renewal. They don't like issuing them apparently, as it demonstrates that they are behind on renewals.
  7. My renewal came through in ten days last July, August I applied for a variation to add a .22 ,nothing heard at all until I phoned 2nd week of January, when I phoned, reply muffled "****, sorry sir it appears it has been overlooked, someone will look at it now" cert arrived first post the following day . Sometimes cock-up over conspiracy.
  8. The wife also has a FAC, but our renewal dates are a couple of years apart. We have all four of our rifles on both tickets (she's got a heavy barrel and a light barrel; I've got a main and a spare). My renewed FAC still wasn't back just before the runout date; our proposed solution was for her to keep the safe keys away from me until it reappeared... :)
  9. That probably explains why a friend of mine from the Shrewsbury area is still waiting for his certificates nearly three months after an FEO visit.
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    For them to justify an increase in fees they have to show an improved service. They are constantly failing to deliver within their own guidelines despite them being more generous with time than 10 or 20 years ago and the addition of the PNC to the system should cut processing time not add to it. They are pretty useless and probably spend more time deciding who will attend the next gender issues awareness coordinators course than actually work processing certificates.
  11. Frankly, they will get away with it. Just give the work to a special needs school, instant improvement. Price hike justified. Simples.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If they did the spelling might improve!
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