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Firearms Licensing Unit clear application backlog and modernise systems

The Firearms Licensing department for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police Forces has been dealing with a backlog in shotgun certificates and firearms licences over the last few years. This is a situation mirrored by many licensing departments across the country.

This has caused significant frustrations with licence and certificate holders. To resolve this situation, and following investment by the Police and Crime Commissioners, we have taken significant steps over recent months to update and modernise our systems and as a result, waiting times have shortened with a great deal of progress made to reduce our outstanding workload.

To further improve our service and to level some of the demand, we are able to offer some of our shotgun certificate holders to apply to renew up to two years earlier than scheduled. This will enable their future expiry date on their certificate to fall into one of the two quieter periods in the five year term, balancing out demand, and helping us to deliver a better service. There will also be a reduction in the renewal fee to compensate for this. Officers from the Firearms Licensing Unit will be contacting suitable certificate holders by telephone to gauge levels of interest. This will be followed up with a letter and an application form for those who are interested in this option.

I am pleased to also announce that we have now completed the reduction of Temporary Permits which were issued due to high volumes of work from May 2016 through to September 2016. In total 8500 Temporary Permits were issued. The Temporary Permits allowed certificate holders to lawfully retain their weapons, while we worked to process the renewal applications and issue of Full Certificates. Due to the high volume of renewals, the renewal applications were worked in certificate expiry date order to minimise the length of time each applicant was without their full shotgun and/or Firearm Certificate. I am now able to confirm that all temporary permits issued have been finalised and full licence / certificates issued. This has only been accomplished by the determination and focus of the Licensing Team to reduce the backlog to a manageable level.

In order that the dedication of our staff is complimented by a modern and efficient processing tool, we have now introduced a new electronic filing and workflow system, called Cyclops. This will assist in the smooth processing of incoming work and applications received, and allow prioritisation to be more effective. This digitalising of the process will simplify and modernise our work practices providing a more efficient method of retaining and accessing information.

Should you have any queries, please contact us directly, using our online contact form below or ring us on 01905 727547 between the hours of 8.30am - 4.30pm.

West Mercia Police - Contact the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit

Warwickshire Police - Contact the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit

Superintendent Martin Samuel
Firearms & Explosives Licensing Unit

Issued by Alex Gale, Corporate Communications

 

Published 03/10/17