Po­lice tar­get gun own­ers

Gun own­ers in Mersey­side are be­ing sur­prised by unan­nounced po­lice vis­its that they say are merely “spot checks” or sim­ple “rou­tine”

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Po­lice are re­port­edly mak­ing “spot checks” on the homes of firearm and shot­gun cer­tifi­cate hold­ers in Mersey­side. Of­fi­cers are de­mand­ing to in­spect the own­ers’ firearms and their se­cu­rity. How­ever, Home Of­fice guid­ance does not al­low such ac­tion with­out good cause.

Bill Har­ri­man, BASC’S di­rec­tor of firearms, said: “It ap­pears the vis­its have been made with­out prior ar­range­ment and by… four peo­ple. In all cases, no proper rea­son was given for the visit. Such that was given was lim­ited to un­sat­is­fac­tory phrases like ‘spot checks’ and ‘rou­tine visit’. It is quite clear from the 2016 Home Of­fice Guide on Firearms Li­cens­ing that the po­lice can­not just turn up to some­one’s home and de­mand en­try un­less they have proper rea­son to do so.

“They must make a proper ex­pla­na­tion to the cer­tifi­cate holder, who still re­tains dis­cre­tion not to ad­mit them.”

BASC is con­tact­ing all mem­bers in Mersey­side out­lin­ing the Home Of­fice guid­ance, which only al­lows for unan­nounced home vis­its where it is “judged nec­es­sary, based on spe­cific in­tel­li­gence in light of a par­tic­u­lar threat or risk of harm”.

Mr Har­ri­man added: “There is no statu­tory right of en­try to a pri­vate home for the pur­poses of firearms li­cens­ing. If it is in­con­ve­nient to ad­mit po­lice per­son­nel for any rea­son they should be told that this is the case and be asked to re­turn at a con­ve­nient time, hav­ing made a proper ap­point­ment to do so. A clear and rea­soned ex­pla­na­tion as to why the visit has been made should be [given]. Vague ex­cuses such as ‘it’s just rou­tine’ should not be ac­cepted.”

BASC has writ­ten to Mersey­side Po­lice Chief Con­sta­ble Andy Cooke to ask why the force ap­pears to be adopt­ing the prac­tice and has warned the ap­proach risks dam­ag­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the shoot­ing com­mu­nity and Mersey­side Po­lice.

“The po­lice can­not just turn up to some­one’s home and de­mand en­try with­out a rea­son to do so”

Li­cence hold­ers in Mersey­side have re­ported ran­dom po­lice vis­its

Un­der Home Of­fice guide­lines po­lice must have cause to make home vis­its

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.