Student officers from Suffolk Constabulary have taken part in an intensive training day covering firearms law, shooting sports and wildlife crime. The training was provided by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) which represents gamekeepers in England and Wales.
Sixteen student officers, many with urban backgrounds, learned about firearms licensing, the different types of shotguns and rifles in common use, public perception of shooting activities and the consequences of poaching and rural crime for the economy and animal welfare. The day was organised on the initiative of PC Mark Bryant, Rural Crime and Wildlife Officer for Suffolk Police.
Mark Bryant said: “It went superbly. The feedback from our training department was 100% positive with several students saying it was the best day’s training they have had.”
Chris Brooks BASC’s Eastern regional officer said: “It was very encouraging to see Suffolk Police wanting to learn more about the role shooting plays in the countryside and related issues such as poaching and other rural crime. BASC was pleased to work with the NGO to offer the police expert knowledge and to share practical, hands-on experience. Discussions are planned to see if the training can be expanded in the future and we look forward to working with Suffolk Constabulary again.”
Tim Weston, development officer (South) for the NGO said, “We are always happy to help when it comes to training the police. Suffolk is the latest force in a long list to be assisted in this way. It benefits everyone.”