News and Views

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As a result of an amendment to Regulation 5A of the Police Act 1997, which came into force on 31 December 2012, enhanced criminal record certificates can be sought in order to assess an individual’s suitability to possess, acquire and/ or transfer prohibited weapons (within the meaning of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968) and associated ammunition. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) became operational on 1 December 2012.

The Home Office guidance to applicants to possess firearms to protect UK registered ships has been revised to reflect these changes and was published on 5 April 2013 it can be found using the following link.

PMSCs required to employ armed guards on UK registered ships must be authorised to possess a range of firearms, including those requiring an authority from the Secretary of State for the Home Department under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. PMSCs may submit a DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate for each armed guard in support of their section 5 application. PMSCs applying for Enhanced Disclosure certificates for individual armed guards from the DBS must process these applications through a Registered Body.

As a service to SCEG members ADS/SCEG is now a Registered Body and is able to able to check and countersign applications before submitting them to DBS. DBS will issue each applicant with a certificate based on the individual’s criminal record. This certificate can be submitted by the PMSCs with the section 5 application or thereafter.

The total costs for the DBS and ADS service is £74.40 as follows:
DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate £44.00
ADS/SCEG Registered Body £18.00
VAT @ 20% £12.40
TOTAL £74.70

From the 18th April 2013 those PMSCs who intend to submit applications for DBS Enhanced Disclosure checks should contact Katrine Gibson, SCEG Administrator (email), and request an application form for each applicant.

The creation of DBS, the amendment to the Police Act, the revised Home Office guidance and the establishment by SCEG of the Registered Body offers an opportunity for PMSCs to have a fast and efficient vetting service for armed guards on UK registered ships. There will inevitably be glitches in the early days but if PMSCs work with Katrine I hope that within a few weeks we will have a thoroughly responsive system in place.

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