Changes to Firearms Departments Scotland

Spiker

Well-Known Member
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.
 

highland stalker

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
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.
 
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gerarddwatts

Well-Known Member
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.
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
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.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Mick9abf

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
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
 

JockStalk

Well-Known Member
8 divisions and management structures for a country of scotlands size?

Ive a FAC in and the moment and the changes will no doubt create delay and upheaval. But to be honest, it's got the potential to drive some consistency across what is (according to this forum) a very inconsistent process.
 

gerarddwatts

Well-Known Member
Care to provide an authoritive source for that?
Sir Stephen House is due to appear at Holyrood's Justice Sub-Committee on Policing to discuss the controversial practice.
The meeting comes after it emerged that children under 12 have continued to be stopped and searched on a consensual basis, despite a clear commitment last year to end the practice for children.
The chief constable will be questioned on the issue alongside Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson, who told the committee in June that searching children below the age of consent was "indefensible" and must stop throughout Police Scotland.
Justice sub-committee convener Christine Grahame said: "It is appropriate that the chief constable has agreed to attend the sub-committee to explain the latest Police Scotland position in relation to 'stop-and-search'.
"This is an issue that many members of Parliament have concerns about and I look forward to hearing how Police Scotland and the SPA are responding to those concerns."
On June 19, Mr Mawson told the committee: "I am going to make a strong statement: from here on in, we should not search young children who are under the age of consent. That must stop."
He said it should stop "quick time right across Police Scotland, because the current position is fairly indefensible".
However, on February 4 it emerged that since June, 356 children in that age group had been stopped and searched by Police Scotland.

Courier website today.
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
Not to divert the thread but since it has come up...
A police federation spokesman said..."they don't have their date of birth stamped on their forehead you know".
He then gave an examples of how kids are found with alcohol or knives possibly being held by them for older ones.
The police on the streets want to keep this facility,the politicians are worried about ticking a politically correct box.
I know whose side I'm on.
You ?
 
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gerarddwatts

Well-Known Member
Not to divert the thread but since it has come up...
A police federation spokesman said..."they don't have their date of birth stamped on their forehead you know".
He then gave an examples of how kids are found with alcohol or knives possibly being held by them for older ones.
The police on the streets want to keep this facility,the politicians are worried about ticking a politically correct box.
I know whose side I'm on.
You ?
Couldn't agree more..

On the side of the rozzers firmly, but a senior officer ********ting his way through when he gets caught out won't do them any good.

On the wider question, but sort of on-topic, there were many arguments for amalgamating forces and keeping some sort of local accountability, but one size fits all from Glasgow to Lochboisdale can't work and was nothing more than an SNP vanity project
 

Chanty Wrassler

Well-Known Member
On June 19, Mr Mawson told the committee: "I am going to make a strong statement: from here on in, we should not search young children who are under the age of consent. That must stop."
He said it should stop "quick time right across Police Scotland, because the current position is fairly indefensible".

That may well be so, but when did Mr Mawson, or any of the other Assistant Chief Constables, specifically say that the practice was continuing? Per the OP's post:

"the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers."
 

private fraser

Well-Known Member
This is a good article...

Stop-and-search: Police officers accuse politicians of ignorance - BBC News

It's not up to the politicians,it's not even up to the chief constable.

"Calum Steele, general secretary of the SPF, which represents 98% of Scottish police officers, has sent an open letter to MSPs which claimed ministers were in danger of acting unlawfully if they banned the searches.
He described the idea that politicians and the chief constable can decide which laws should be applied and when as "frightening".
And he claimed the debate on non-statutory or consensual searches had unearthed "frightening levels of political ignorance".
 
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gerarddwatts

Well-Known Member
That may well be so, but when did Mr Mawson, or any of the other Assistant Chief Constables, specifically say that the practice was continuing? Per the OP's post:

"the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers."
Not really sure what your point is but...

'Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer told BBC Scotland stop-search was a valuable tool in helping officers keep people safe.
He said: "Our data shows that a small number of under 12s were stop searched.
"Police officers will positively engage with young people and children and there are times when that engagement may move to a search which can result in the use of stop and search and often the removal of alcohol, cigarettes and other items.
"These interventions are vital in protecting the health and wellbeing of young people and children, and parents would expect us to remove alcohol and other harmful items from their children to keep them safe and prevent them becoming an offender or a victim."
He added: "Last year Police Scotland announced an undertaking to cease consensual searching of children less than 12 years of age. To support this decision, we have been reviewing searches of those aged between ages one and 11. This review is ongoing."'

BBC website today, report dated 4 February.
 

Chanty Wrassler

Well-Known Member
Not really sure what your point is but...

.
My point is that the OP said:

""the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers."

I do not believe that any of the Assistant Chief Constables have made such an admission, either that the searches are continuing, or that they are an abuse of police powers.
 

gerarddwatts

Well-Known Member
My point is that the OP said:

""the Assistant Chief Constables own admission continues to abuse stop and search powers."

I do not believe that any of the Assistant Chief Constables have made such an admission, either that the searches are continuing, or that they are an abuse of police powers.
This is irrelevant nonsense...but...

In June Mawson said..

"I am going to make a strong statement: from here on in, we should not search young children who are under the age of consent. That must stop."
He said it should stop "quick time right across Police Scotland, because the current position is fairly indefensible".

This would appear to me, and any other reasonable person, an admission that his officers were doing something that he at least thought was wrong. An abuse of their powers. I disagree with him but that is what he said.

In February Telfer said..

"Police officers WILL positively engage with young people and children and there are times when that engagement may move to a search which can result in the use of stop and search and often the removal of alcohol, cigarettes and other items."

This to me, and any other reasonable observer, suggests that the practise his colleague referred to (unwisely) as 'indefensible' has and will continue.

Neither of these senior officers have covered themselves in glory.

As it happens I spent my working life as a police officer, I have friends still serving, and I am depressed at the way the Police service in Scotland has and will continue to deteriorate as a result of the changes. I am also depressed at the quality of the leadership and management they and their political masters have bought to the party. This debacle is an example.

It seems likely that Firearms Licensing will become another casualty in the development of a single Police Scotland. I hope not but time will tell.

These posts have become off-topic pedantry and I'm out.
 

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