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NPPF Step 2 Sergeant to Inspector Exam Blog 2017 Week 8

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NPPF Step 2  Sergeant – Inspector 2017

Week 8

Crime Chapter 7

Firearms and Gun Crime

Crime Chapter 8

Racially and Religiously Aggravated Offences

Crime Chapter 9

Non Fatal Offences Against the Person


This week, three chapters from the Crime syllabus book.  They are Chapter 7 Firearms and Gun Crime, Chapter 8 Racially and Religiously Aggravated Offences,  and lastly Chapter 9, Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person  

So let’s get started with Chapter 7 Firearms and Gun Crime.  Where to begin, well Firearms and Gun Crime has historically always been a good subject for the examiners too, so let’s start there.

You should have worked out by now that I am a big fan of learning definitions off by heart, and there are a lot of definitions in this section, they need to be added to your collection of index cards with definitions written on that you take with you where ever you go. Get to know them so you can recite them word perfectly. It makes applying a question to the law so much easier if you can do so confidently, and that comes from old fashioned rote learning.  I have always believed it has its place, and this is it!

If you work hard to get to know them, they will become the solid foundation on which to build your knowledge base. This is where having a ‘Study Buddy fits in well, you can test each other.  As you pass in the corridor throw out “What is the definition of a Prohibited Weapon?” and check before moving on.

This chapter also contains a lot of exemptions, and they complicate things. There are three in your book, at section there are two exemptions, European Exemptions and Special exemptions and a bit further on at para 1.7.8 you have a list of General Exemptions.   The first list in your book is European and Special Exemptions.

‘Special Exemptions’ only applies to Section 5 of the Firearms Act and that relates to Prohibited Weapons.  The second list is a much wider list, and I think the best way to learn these two lists is to draw up a comparison chart, and write the exemptions down in two adjacent columns.     

For those of you whose learning style is a visual one, that is always a good thing to do. Draw two columns and then write down the exemptions from the General Exemption list in one column and then try to marry up the Special Exemptions list alongside it.  You will find quite a lot of common ground, so you will in effect have less to learn and remember.

Now there are lots of offences too in this chapter. You know how much importance I place on three things, definitions, offences, and Police Powers. I know it can be argued that this is all there is in Blackstone’s, but I cannot stress how important it is to go into your exam with full knowledge right across the syllabus.  After all your examiners can test you right across the syllabus, so you do need to know it all.   

Some of the offences relate to Firearms, others to Imitation Firearms and others to Shotguns, Firearms and Air Weapons.   I can’t think of any easy way to remember which is which, and if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear from them.

Please put a post on either the Executive Guidance web site at www.executiveguidance.co.uk and at the end of the blog there is space to add a comment, please use this facility to do just that, that way we can all benefit from it. If nothing is forthcoming we are back to learning off by heart! That said, if you do know it all off by heart you will be able to recall it at that vital time when the question crops up.  

There are one or two things you can do which will help, practically, you cannot endanger someone’s life with an imitation firearm, and if you look at the legislation, it agrees with you. So that rules imitation firearms out of the Possession with Intent to Endanger Life offence.

The ‘Having Someone to Mind a Weapon’ offence introduces a relatively new concept to us, that of a ‘Dangerous Weapon’ a new definition to learn. It means a Firearm, other than an Air Weapon, or component part of or accessory to an air weapon, or a weapon to which Section 141 or 141a of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies.  They are offensive weapons, knives, and bladed weapons. It probably would have been shorter and easier to say this legislation applies to a Firearm, and Shotgun.  But there we are, what do I know?   

It is also well worth having a good look at the section about Possession or Acquisition of Firearms by Certain People. This is the section that restricts access to firearms by people with convictions.  There are lots of conditions here for your examiners to play with. What was the sentence, how long does the restriction apply for and so on?  This is another situation that would call for a comparison chart.

There are two cut off points, sentenced to imprisonment for 3 years and 3 months.  If someone has been so sentenced between those two they cannot possess firearms or ammunition for 5 years. Over 3 years and you are prohibited for life. That includes a sentence of life imprisonment.

There is a lot in this chapter about your powers to deal with people who are in possession of firearms.  This cries out for a timeline because as you move from one phase to another the whole thing is dependent on what happened in the previous phase. So you can demand the production of a firearm or shotgun certificate, if you believe the person concerned is in possession of a Section 1 Firearm, Ammunition, or Shotgun.

If they fail to produce it, or show they are not entitled to be issued with such a certificate or show he is in possession of the firearm exclusively in connection with recognised purposes, (collecting/historical/cultural) under the law of another EU member state, then you can move on and demand production of valid documentation issued in another Member State, and so it goes on building. Draw a timeline across your page and add the different phases to it so you will finish up with the full chronological list with all the conditions across your page.  It will really help you to learn this law.         

Our second chapter this week is Chapter 8 Racially and Religiously Aggravated Offences. Although it is a relatively short chapter, I think this is a really important one, and all I am going to say is that you need to really learn this entire chapter well. There are two reasons why I think you need to spend some time doing that.

Firstly the examiners in this latest edition of Blackstone’s have created a special chapter for this, which sends a message about the importance the team writing the examination at Harrogate place on this topic. 

This whole topic was one which was really important in the old OSPRE Part 2, and although Part 2 has gone, the importance placed on this topic will not just go away.

The two sections on the two different groups that can be victims of racially and religiously aggravated offences is important to know because it tells you who this legislation applies to.  A good question writer would set the scene in the first sentence with a person to whom this legislation does not apply, and then build a picture of an offence to which this legislation applies.  You will read it carefully but could forget the details of the person involved. 

The timing of Racially and Religiously is all the time, it says at the time of committing, immediately before, or after doing so. So provided there is not a big gap between either the demonstration of racially or religious hostility and the incident, or the incident and the demonstration of racially or religious hostility, that really is all you need to know. 

Finally this week Chapter 9, Non Fatal Offences Against the Person, as with a number of chapters already covered, this one starts off with a number of important definitions, all of which you need to add to you index cards of definitions so that you can memorise them. 

The difference between Assault and Battery is in one people have always found difficult to get their heads round. As police officers when you talk about an assault you are actually talking about battery, i.e. the actual application of unlawful force, and that does tend to confuse.

The whole area around Consent, is one that is well worth taking time to get to know.  I see it as a really good area for a question writer to test. The case around the dentist is an interesting one, in that the consent was not given due to any trickery, but was given none the less, and it was held that the consent held up, and no offence was committed.

If we now turn our attention to the offences, which also need to be added to the list of offences you are learning, they build from the lesser to the major.  Blackstone’s very kindly tells you the degree of injury for each assault offence.  I would not spend too much time looking at those, because I cannot see a question which says ‘Which offence is committed if Bloggins is assaulted and receives some swelling around his left eye.’

Remember all the main assault offences can be Racially and Religiously Aggravated except the GBH with Intent offence, which carries a sentence of Life Imprisonment and because you cannot get any more than that, it is excluded from the list of those offences that can have the sentence increased.

The additional assault offences, are all what I call Ronseal offences, i.e. it does what it says on the tin.  Assault with intent to resist arrest, is a specific intent offence, and that intent is to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension of self or another.  The assault is on any person, and is committed by any person too.

The Threats to Kill offence is an interesting one, in that the main issue is in the mind of the offender, not that of the victim. The offender makes the threat intending the victim believe it, it matters not whether the victim does believe it. It makes it a great area for your question writers to test.

Top Tip

This week’s top tip has already been touched on in the article.  I have always thought a ‘Study Buddy’ is a great help in getting to the end of study programme and into the exam with a full head of knowledge. You can motivate one another, test one another, and generally keep each other on track.

There is plenty of room for you both to pass the exam, and your force will be delighted to have two successful candidates at the end of the process instead of just you.   

At this point I get very predictable and dull and issue my standard health warning, I am giving you some suggestions about areas to look at, sadly I know as much about what will be in your exam as you do, and that is why I am very reluctant to suggest you study only banker subjects. I know there are companies out there who boast that they can tell you want is in your exam, and I am here to tell you the only people who know what is in your exam are the team at Harrogate who wrote it, and they are not telling anyone.

I have been helping police officers pass this exam for over 30 years, either from within the job, or on a commercial basis through my company, and that has always been my mantra, study the lot. 

I regularly Tweet about Part 1 offering legal hints and reminders, and you can follow me @ExecutiveGuidance if you would like to. I try to make sure the Tweets reflect the subjects we are looking at each week.  Once again we have had some new followers, so thank you for join us.

Our Weekend Crammer Courses

We have already booked the venue for our weekend Crammer Courses for the run up to the exam in October. They are booked to take place on the two weekends immediately before your big day on the 30th September and 1st of October 2017 as well as on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September 2017. 

We limit numbers to make sure you get the chance to ask questions, and if there are specific chapters that you want us to cover, where ever possible we will include them in our weekend.  So if you are thinking about coming on one of them please make sure you book a place. They will sell out fast.

Time moves very quickly in the wonderful world of study we are now three weeks into the programme and that means there are now only 121 days to go until you are actually taking the exam. Now that’s a scary thought.

We limit numbers to make sure you get the chance to ask questions, and if there are specific chapters that you want us to cover, where ever possible we will include them in our weekend.  So if you are thinking about coming on one of them please make sure you book a place. They will sell out fast.  You can save your place by contacting us atNPPFExam@executiveguidance.co.uk

Motivational Quote.

This week’s motivational quote comes from the first century Christian theologian St. Clement of Alexandra

 who said...

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.

So keep on hoping, and hopefully you will find a pair of Bath Stars lie just beyond those hopes.

See you next week.

Phil Waters

©Executive Guidance Ltd. 2107



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