Thousands of extra copies of a police officer’s guide to lawful shooting have been printed to meet demand from police forces around the country. The guide, produced by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), provides officers with information on situations where people will be involved in activities such as game shooting, deer stalking, wildfowling, pest control and target shooting.
The guide was designed to help prevent misunderstandings and reduce interventions by the police following a number of incidents. It details various aspects of shooting and lists the equipment people may have with them in different circumstances. More than 2,000 printed copies were distributed to every police force in England, Wales and Scotland in January.
Many forces have since asked for extra copies. North Yorkshire police alone have requested an extra 2,000 copies of the guide, along with 2,000 copies of BASC’s shotgun code of practice to distribute to every officer and community support officer.
Dave Coutts, the force’s head of firearms and explosives licensing, said: “Shooting plays an enormous role, both recreational and financial, in our communities. We are looking to improve our officers’ overall awareness of lawful shooting in North Yorkshire, highlighting what activities may be taking place, some of the issues officers may come across and how best to deal with them in a professional manner.
“I think we have a very good relationship with BASC and believe the Police Officer’s Guide to Shooters will help to prevent misunderstandings and help maintain a good working relationship between officers and legitimate shooters.”
Mike Eveleigh, senior firearms officer at BASC, said: “The demand for extra copies was staggering.
"The risks involved in any confrontation between the lawful shooter and armed police officers are obvious, and we hope this booklet will go some way to reducing that risk.
If any police officer feels that more copies would be helpful, I can be contacted on 01244 573010. There is no charge for small numbers of leaflets, but if large numbers are required there will be a nominal charge."
The guide can also be downloaded from BASC’s website at http://www.basc.org.uk/en/departments/firearms/police-involvement-with-shooting.cfm