HMIC Report a “Curate’s egg”

Commenting on the HMIC report “Targeting the Risk – An inspection of the efficiency and effectiveness of firearms licensing in police forces in England and Wales”, Peter Glenser a member of BASC Council and a barrister specialising in firearms law said:

“The report is a curate’s egg – good in parts.  It reports that improvements are needed to deal with inconsistencies, lack of common training, inefficiency and in effectiveness that were identified in some licensing teams in England and Wales. Unfortunately, it never identifies lack of service to the certificate holders who pay for the service as a problem.”

Gary Ashton, Director of Firearms Operations at BASC said:

“What is disappointing is that the report singularly fails to recognise the comprehensive nature of the work that has been underway with the Home Office for the past two and a half years to make the existing system of medical checks more dynamic.  It is worrying that the report does not appear to understand the principles of modern risk management that underpin policing.  This is a significant weakness within the report.

“BASC recently published a white paper recommending that the duration of certificates should be extended from five to ten years. At a stroke this would relieve the pressure on police forces, allow them to focus staff on essential real time monitoring and deliver a proper service to licence holders. Unfortunately this solution was not understood by the HMIC review.”