Once again, the spotlight is on our local police forces as Garry Doolan looks at the stats from this year. How long does it take, on average, for your force to complete a licence application?
The publication of BASC’s licensing league table last year appears to have been just the kick up the backside needed by some police forces. Granted, nobody dare claim all is well, but after completing our second annual analysis of licensing in England and Wales, BASC has found some forces have clearly taken sizeable steps to improve. This table shows this year’s stats, with last year’s numbers included in brackets.
In the last 12 months, BASC has worked hard with firearms licensing departments to offer assistance and access to the expertise of their full-time firearms team. Credit where it is due, certain forces have achieved significant reductions in turnaround times, namely Kent, Warwickshire, West Mercia, Essex, Hampshire, Greater Manchester and Thames Valley.
Nationally, BASC’s latest research shows the mean average for FAC grants to be 69 days. This represents improvement over the previous average of 88 days. SGC grants averaged 68 days compared with 86 days previously. Coterminous grants averaged 63 days with no previous data to compare.
Renewals also show an overall improvement in turnaround times, with FACs being processed in an average of 53 days, down from 65 days previously. SGC renewals were better still, showing a 43 day average compared with 63 days at last review. Coterminous renewals averaged 52 days.
While some forces have raised their game, others have slid into the red. Most notably, the wheel appears to have come off in quite spectacular fashion in South Wales. They have added almost 100 days to the time taken to renew an FAC and need almost twice as long as the previous year to turn around a shotgun renewal. If you’re unfortunate enough to live in their force area and have applied for an initial grant, it may be a long time coming.
Many applicants should have experienced faster applications this year