February 9th, 2011

Would you Adam & Eve it

Posted in The Job - General by 200

As police drag the bottom of even more barrels in efforts to save money, several forces have hit upon another spiffing idea to save some cash.

Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire Police are to do away with personal visits for firerams certificate renewals. For many years, when a firearms certificate is due for renewal, the gun-licence owner has received a visit at home from a firearms licencing officer who makes sure no circumstances have changed which would  make the police withhold the licence renewal.

The forces reckon they can save money by not visiting licence-holders, instead they will give them a call on the old dog & bone & renew the licence over the phone. Presumably, the word of the gun owner to say that everything is hunky-dory, the gun is still afe & secure & that he hasn’t had a raging mental breakdown, will be good enough to let him keep the gun/s for another five years.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said that only 0.2% of visits lead to a certificate being withdrawn.

Essex Police will do things differently, they’re gonna renew the licences by writing to people.

Should save a few quid & they can sack some firearms staff. Let’s hope the 0.2% that would have had their certificates removed don’t include another one of these.

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  1. Rufus says:

    And of course, when the next one of those happens, I dare say that those with far too much braid on their uniforms will say that no-one could have seen it coming.

    This would strictly true, no-one could have seen it coming if no-one was even vaguely looking for it.

    February 10th, 2011 at 10:35

  2. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I heard this one on the radio. As long as the home visits for new licence applicants continues I can`t see much wrong with not repeating those visits for renewals.

    But then, why stop doing visits for renewals altogether. Why not pick on a few random ones and pay a visit (on the way to or from a home visit in relation to a new licence for example).

    It keeps the firearms licencing officer in touch with the public.

    Why does everything have to be ‘all or nothing’.

    February 10th, 2011 at 18:10

  3. joe says:

    I’d agree with C.I.T.C above. Initial visit on grant will have cleared the security issues and the process should (but nothing’s perfect) have ensured that at the point of grant the applicant is suitable. Thereafter the occasional spot check should be all that’s needed and personally I doubt a brief home visit will pick up a Hamilton or a Bird. More useful might be some regular dialogue with gun club officials – the shooting community in my experience tend to be v concerned about safety and, as I recall, in Hamilton’s case his club had expressed doubts to the police about his suitability to hold a licence but were ignored. Obviously this wouldn’t work where the gun was not held for purposes which required club membership.

    Looked at from a pure cost benefit basis I wonder why we are so paranoid about lawfully held firearms – to the extent our national pistol team (we used to be pretty good at this in the Olympics) has to train abroad because they can’t do so legally in the UK! The percentage of problems from legally held firearms is miniscule. Look at the statistics – we get far more problems from criminal firearms use. If we’re serious about making a real impact on deaths from criminal activities we’d have more black rats out catching dangerous drivers and uninsured, unlicensed drivers.

    February 10th, 2011 at 20:38

  4. Blueknight says:

    In the dark and distant past ordinary uniform PCs did firearms and shotgun in my old Force.
    I think it was after the Hungerford massacre that the job was given to specialised firearms licensing officers, who could do a more thorough job.
    Funny how soon the job forgets…….

    February 10th, 2011 at 21:32

  5. Oi says:

    Savings? You want savings? Here’s savings! http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3382555/Anger-as-cons-used-as-cabbies.html

    February 10th, 2011 at 22:29

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