BASC hosts return visit with Essex firearms team

firearms1BASC followed up its recent visit to Essex Police to discuss delays in licensing applications by hosting the force’s firearms licensing team at the association’s north Wales headquarters.

Essex officers and staff were shown around Marford Mill before receiving presentations from a number of BASC’s specialist departments, including wildfowling and game and deer management.

Constructive discussions took place in respect of attitude to risks, transparent decision-making and closer working to ensure good service to members.

Essex were joined for a time by Cheshire Police superintendent Beverly Raistrick, who explained how their force has improved licensing by inviting some certificate holders to renew early, thereby achieving a more even distribution of renewals over the five-year certificate cycle.

Gary Ashton, BASC director of firearms operations, said: “Essex have acknowledged their performance in relation to firearms licensing has fallen far below where they would wish to be, but they are working hard to improve their turn-around times with the introduction of more proportionate processes.

“Drawing on the experience of other more efficient forces can only assist them further, which is why we were pleased to be able to facilitate the involvement of Cheshire, who have levelled out demand by removing the peak years that many forces continue to struggle with.”

Essex Police chief inspector Emma Brookes said: “I welcomed the opportunity from BASC and Cheshire Police to learn from their knowledge and experience. We will certainly take on board the valuable advice and assistance given to us to help improve the speed of our service around licence renewals.”

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