‘Don’t get slack’ - Rural officer’s security reminder to gun owners
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A top Suffolk rural police officer is urging licensed gun owners “not to get slack” with their security measures this game shooting season.
Sergeant Brian Calver, of Suffolk’s rural crime team, is reminding owners that they have a responsibility to keep their gun secure at all times.
The game shooting season, which typically runs from September 1 until February 1, is now in full swing and with the outdoor activity exempt from any ‘rule of six’ Covid-19 regulations, many shoots will go ahead as normal.
Sgt Calver said security around shotguns and rifles is a major issue.
“On the back of everyone’s licence, whether it’s a shotgun or a rifle, it does stipulate that they have a responsibility and duty of care to make sure that the gun is secure at all times,” he said.
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“It’s not just a case of ‘it’s in the shed’, it must be properly secured in a locked-up cabinet when at home and the keys must not be accessible to anyone else and that includes family members.”
MORE: Suffolk gets extra police officer to tackle rural crimeSgt Calver said annually at this time of year, he will see issues with licence holders not taking appropriate care with their firearm.
“Every year at this time of year, when people go out on game shoots, we get the odd issue with a person leaving a gun unsupervised in a car or a vehicle while they pop somewhere to a shop or something,” he said.
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“In the past we’ve had a couple of them stolen, which is not intentional, they haven’t done it on purpose, but just got a little bit slack around the security of it, thinking, ‘Suffolk’s not like that’ and then sadly you’ve got a gun in the hands of criminals.”
He added that owning a gun is “a privilege, not a right” and urged licence holders to review any security practices.
“I would say tidy up the slack practices, prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime, prevent anybody getting hurt and also prevent yourself getting into trouble because breach of licence conditions is a criminal offence,” Sgt Calver added.
“Remember it is a privilege not a right to have one and don’t spoil that by getting slack with your practices, look at your security practices and make sure they are updated.”
For more information on gun licensing, people can visit Suffolk police’s website here.