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Thread: Changes to Firearms Departments Scotland

  1. #1

    Changes to Firearms Departments Scotland

    We are very fortunate in SW Scotland to have a Firearms and Explosives Department based at Dumfries who offer a service the envy of other departments within Police Scotland. Our Firearms Manager John Williams is approachable, knowledgeable and user friendly. He will readily deal with a legal enquiry over the telephone and responds to written requests almost by return. To my knowledge the record for a one to one variation having requested it on the telephone is 29 minutes. Yes 29 minutes. One to one variations often take as long as it takes you to drive to police Head Quarters where you will find your new FAC waiting at reception. On a scale of service we are regularly offered a platinum service.
    Our FEO, Dave Wood sets himself targets to turn work around. Reminders to renew are often accompanied by a telephone call to get you brain into gear. Home visits are personally, quickly and professionally completed with certificates arriving in days (normally under a week) rather than months as we so often hear about.
    How unfortunate it is to learn that three of our four FEO’s are being replaced in a futile attempt to save money. All of the expertise, experience and knowledge will be lost. They are to be replaced by uniformed officers who will attend a three day course before being unleashed on firearm certificate holders. These new FEO’s will be expected to continue with their normal police duties and fit in the firearms enquiries when and if they get the chance. What service will this offer the paying public. Mr Wood has been told to reapply for his position but at a salary some £5000 less than he receives now.
    Our long standing, dedicated and highly experienced Firearms Manager is being replaced by someone based in Glasgow. No local knowledge or control.
    If you think this doesn’t concern you think again. The entire project is being rolled out across the whole of Police Scotland. The same Police Scotland who wanted every officer armed (they even ordered the Glocks) and who by the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers.

  2. #2
    Not good news at all. The firearms and licensing department in Inverness also has a good reputation but id imagine they will be facing the same sort of cuts.
    My certificate has been in for 10 days now to have another calibre added to it so just waiting to see how long before it appears back.

  3. #3
    I think the routine arming of our Police Force (read service) is a different discussion from the firearms licensing issues. . Nevertheless I agree with you, this will ultimately have an effect on service delivery, and turnaround times will inevitably suffer. .

    What we are currently in the midst of at the moment is the largest, deepest cuts in the history of modern policing.
    Community Officers are being phased out, firearms licensing centralized and being run by Officers with squat all knowledge of what they are meant to be administering. Local knowledge is a thing of the past . .

    Don't be fooled into thinking the Police are currently engaged in preventing crime, and the savings from these budget cuts will help in that repect, they aren't, and it won't.

    Through no fault of their own they are spending the vast majority of time filling in needless and repetitive paperwork forced upon them by Government, and cascaded down through senior management who add on a few extra layers of bureaucracy to aid in their next promotion application.

    What quite clearly isn't top of the agenda is serving the public and having more Officers available to patrol and prevent crime. . . Crime is falling (on paper) and the reason it's falling (on paper) is due wholly to the way it's being reported and subsequently classified by crime managers (under pressure to hit unrealistic targets) not because it is actually falling.

    My post may read as if im anti Police, I'm not I'm actually pro Police. . . But I'm led to believe from friends who are in the job that it's a bit like trying to swim with an anvil around your neck, and the people who will ultimately suffer are the very people who are paying for 'their' Police Service, the tax paying public.
    Last edited by Cadex; 21-02-2015 at 20:43.

  4. #4
    This is a horrifying prospect. We as individuals, and our representative organisations, must take up the inevitable inefficiencies with The Scottish Police Authority, in addition to making formal complaints to the Chief Constable.

    The whole business of policing Scotland has been a massive bungle, and the blame can be laid at the door of the halfwit Macaskill and his ex boss, the failure Salmond.

  5. #5
    I posted this a few days ago. Not good news

  6. #6
    So police officers with specialist in depth knowledge and experience are being replace by ordinary barely trained officers to monitor thousands of shotgun and firearm certificate holders with thousands and thousands of firearms.
    And this is being done to save money.
    After Hungerford and Dunblane etc. one can only imagine what the press would make of this.
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  7. #7
    This will happen right across Scotland, but time will tell how it pans out, not had a renewal nor done a variation since Police Scotland came into being, but I do quite a few Visitors Permits and they are much quicker than they were previously, processed in about a third of the time they used to be.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gerarddwatts View Post
    This is a horrifying prospect. We as individuals, and our representative organisations, must take up the inevitable inefficiencies with The Scottish Police Authority, in addition to making formal complaints to the Chief Constable.

    The whole business of policing Scotland has been a massive bungle, and the blame can be laid at the door of the halfwit Macaskill and his ex boss, the failure Salmond.
    Wasting your time, the Police Scotland Chief Constables main remit is (like every other public service) to cut costs wherever possible without the public seeing.

    Call me cynical but the single service, like the fire and ambulance reforms were no doubt brought about because it is easier to control one head of department so to speak than the 8 or whatever amount of forces or services or whatever they call themselves now were there before.

    While you may get a polite reply on cheap headed notepaper the wheels are already in motion.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiker View Post

    and who by the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers.
    Care to provide an authoritive source for that?

  10. #10
    I'm going through the renewal process just now & tomorrow am due to get a visit re- FAC & SGC by a local officer (from Dingwall).
    Then on Tuesday the Explosives Cert. officer is due to visit for that side of the process - He is based in Edinburgh & covers right up to the North coast.
    In all my years of shooting & having a BP Certificate all the time, I have never before had a separate visit for that. So two visits instead of one.
    Let's see how it goes! - Watch this space.

    On a slightly different subject, there have been at least three unannounced security check visits by police officers on shooters that I know locally in the last weeks. All three were in our view made without the required good intelligence driven reasons that are the guideline requirements being made clear to my friends. It appears that names are simply pulled out of a hat from what the PCs told folks. Two people allowed the police to enter their homes & one refused (& rightly so as he wasn't given adequate reason).
    Sooo the police have enough staff to send multiple officers to each of us for renewal checks. Plus random security checks. Each visit will bear its own overhead of effort & running cost to the police & possibly leave the system open to errors & IMHO is not necessarily the most efficient way to manage it.

    Ian

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