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Thread: FAC Variation + police caution

  1. #1

    FAC Variation + police caution

    I am wanting to apply for a variation to get a centerfire, currently have a shotgun licence and a .22 rimfire on an FAC. I have held both since i was 18, i am now 21. Unfortunately 2 years ago when i was at college i was given a caution for theft. We had been out drinking just like everyone dose at college. When we got back to campus we got up to some mischief. Me and 3 other friends were caught tipping up one of those vending machines containing mars bars and the like, due to the exsessive alcohol conumption we never realised there was cctv watching us. This all happened on campus and i still cant belive the need for the college to call the police over such a trivial matter. Anyway the police turned up on campus a week later to hand out the cautions. At the time i wasn't sure what it all ment as far as FAC's are concerned. At first i didnt think we were even being charged with anything but with hindsight i would not have accepted the caution. I even told the policeman who was issuing it that i held an FAC and asked if it would cause any problems 'oh no, i wouldn't think so, not for a small thing like this. Just sign the paper and that'l be the last you here of it'. Well i'v recently been doing some research and it seems it is quite a problem because in the eyes of the law i am now a convicted thieff and i am very angry about the way in which the whole thing was dealt with.

    Now i want to apply for a variation but i'm reluctent to do so because i will have to declare the caution. If i do this, is there a chance I will then get my FAC revoked and my guns taken away? At the moment i dont think my local police know about the caution because it was from a different police force; Grampian Police and i am with Northern Constabulary.

  2. #2
    If they thought that the offence was sufficient to warrant the removal of your certificate, then they would have done it before now. A conviction, or a caution, will not necessarily affect holding an FAC, unless you are imprisoned or it is a violent crime.

    Rest assured, when the caution was issued they will have known that you are an FAC holder, and would have taken the cert away if they were going to. The fact that they didn't works in your favour.

    It might be worth phoning your shooting organisation of choices firearms licencing department to advise, but I can't see it being a problem.

  3. #3
    two things,
    its a caution not a conviction. in my understanding two seperate things.
    The FAC asks about convictions, not cautions. dont worry about it.

    secondly, you can lose your FAC for being a dribble over the limit on the way home after a party. no violence required.

  4. #4
    Firstly Hoyboy is Scotland as an adult there is no such thing as a caution. As a Juvenile you can be subject to a Police warning for minor offences but this is not a conviction. Secondly even if you had been charged with an offence it would not have been theft Unless there was some evidence of you and your mates actually trying to steal the whole vending machine. If there was evidence of you or your mates trying to break into the machine it would be Opening a lock fast place with intent to steal or perhaps vandalism. If you had been charged a report would have been sent to the Procuator Fiscal who can either proceed the case to court, can take no further action or offer the accused person a Fiscal's warning and fine. A Fiscals warning/fine is recorded on SCRO but is not a conviction.

    All convictions in Scotland are recorded on the Scottish Criminal Record Office data and is available to all Scottish Police Authorities. It is also recorded on the Police National Computer as is all SGC and FAC cert holders.

    I would be fairly sure that you have no criminal record in respect of that incident and that you have no need to declare anything.

  5. #5
    Firstly, we have all done done regrettable things when we were young - but not all of us get caught. S'life and alcohol.

    Your FAC is at risk whether you apply for a variation or not, so might be worth speaking to your force about it anyway?

    Now I just want to confirm this, but did you receive a 'caution', which under England and Wales Law is the minimum disposal for a criminal offence (but a criminal offence nonetheless) OR did you receive a PND - Public Notice for Disorder ticket? It sounds to me that if these were dished out on campus that it was a PND. Cautions occur in stations, where you are arrested, charged, details and prints taken and disposed of through Caution - but you don't mention any of these things happening. A PND is normally an 80 fine - and can be used for theft/shoplifting of up to 100 of goods, and is not 'as bad' as a caution as counts as a minor unrecorded offence (on PNC) that does not get shared intra Force; whereas a caution does.
    Useful if you could fill in gaps, otherwise the advice so far is correct, you should seek advice from BASC or similar if you are a member.

    Furthermore, you will be obliged to declare the minor offence at renewal regardless.
    Caveat all of the above, in so much as Scotland Law is different from E&W law and similar words can mean completely different things. A Caution in E&W is a the lowest disposal for a recordable offence (and lowest paperwork..) but in Scotland Caution could mean the equivalent of a E&W warning - which is a telling off.
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  6. #6
    Seems Gazza and I have been typing in tandem! Gazza, you seem to know the Scottish system well!
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  7. #7
    32 years in the job helps.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the help guys, spot on. Yea maybe it wasn't a caution right enough but they still read me my rights and had to sign somthing which is apperently held on police record for a number of years. I'm sure it was along the lines of somthing rehabillitation act somthing or other. Not much good i know but Gazza u might know what im on about here. I had to admit to theft, plead guilty and sign a bit of paper. It was theft because we took a few mars bars out of the machine but didn't actually cause any damage so i guess this was the only thing they could nick us for. I was never arrested and taken to the station, it was all delt with at the college.

    Gazza u reckon i shouldn't declare it on my variation? Actually do you even have to declare crimes on a variation or is it just renewal? It would be a bugger if i didn't declare and then they found out

  9. #9
    Were you dealt with via the adult warning scheme?

  10. #10
    regardless, it is not a conviction. the FAC renewal form asks about "convictions"

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