21 Jan 2016 – Volunteers with no contract of employment are working in some police forces’ firearms licensing departments, according to the BBC.
The revelation came amid a political row about police forces trying to get unpaid volunteers to carry out core police functions, such as investigating crimes, arresting suspects and searching them.
According to the BBC report:
The union Unison, which surveyed police forces last year, says Kent has the largest number of volunteers (850), while volunteers in Thames Valley put in the most hours (70,000).
The survey identified more than 60 volunteer roles, ranging from mountain rescue to animal welfare, crime scene investigation to firearms licensing.
This, to the best of UK Shooting News’ knowledge, has never been public knowledge previously.
PCSOs have been employed in firearms licensing roles in the past, under arrangements that were reportedly supervised by BASC. Using people with no contract of employment (and thus no obligation to secure data or otherwise behave as a proper police employee is obliged to) in firearms licensing roles represents a serious security risk to the licensed firearms community – particularly in these terror-infested times, where police have tried to use the threat of terrorism as a good reason for singling out law-abiding shooters.
UKSN will be looking more deeply into this next week to identify the police forces that are gambling with the security of certificate holders.
Postscript: The BBC article is disturbing, using the word “civilian” to refer to the general public. This reinforces the police view that they are not formed from members of the public but are instead some kind of Nietzschean übermensch; a superior class or breed of people.
For them to believe this, therefore, the rest of us must be untermensch. That term doesn’t need explaining.