Firearms licensing scheme welcomed by BASC
BASC has welcomed a new six-month pilot scheme by Thames Valley Police that will alert firearms and shotgun certificate applicants of the progress of their applications via text message.
The system will have three stages: one text message for when an application has been received and sent for processing into the firearms licensing team’s system; a second text message will be sent when all background checks have been completed and the application has been referred to the applicant’s local firearms enquiry officer; and a third and final text message will be sent when the application has been approved and the certificate is on its way to the applicant.
In a statement BASC said it hoped the three-stage system would ease the pressure on the Thames Valley Licensing team. Paul Dale, a full-time firearms officer at BASC, said: “One of the biggest complaints BASC receives from members is that they are not informed of the progress of their applications. In fact many forces do not even acknowledge receipt. This has a detrimental effect on the performance of firearms licensing departments as they then have to deal with telephone calls and emails from applicants querying what is happening. The introduction of the text notification scheme should reduce such queries to a minimum.
“It is encouraging to see Thames Valley continuing their drive to improve customer service. By looking for ways to make technology work better for them, valuable time should be freed up for firearms licensing staff to concentrate on turning round applications in a timely fashion. This has to be good news for the shooting community in Thames Valley.”
Zoey Evans, firearms and explosives licensing manager at Thames Valley Police, said: “We are hoping that this pilot scheme will improve our customer service to the shooting community by keeping applicants informed regarding the progress of their application. This new system will also reduce the need for applicants to make any calls/emails to the department regarding the status of their application, which will allow my team to concentrate on turning applications round in accordance with our quality-of-service target.”