Firearms li­cens­ing scheme wel­comed by BASC

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot brief­ing -

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.”

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