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Security Procedures Apply

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Hello All,

Some of you may remember me on here from the early days of the forum.  I guess you'd say I have been lurking in the back ground ever since.


Today I had a situation which after almost 35 years in the trade made me stop and think as until now I have never been challenged by a customer over this.


A customer who I know reasonably well came in and asked me to make copies of the keys for his shot gun cabinet. In my current key blank catalogue it states next to each of these blanks "Security Procedures Apply". My understanding of this has been that the customer needs to provide me with a written letter of authorization asking me to duplicate the keys and to provide some form of positive identification. I keep these details securely locked away so that if anything were to happen in the future I could produce the documentation to the authorities if required to show I made checks before simply cutting the keys.


However a few days later the customer returned and told me that he had spoken to two fire arms officers regarding this and they told him all he needed to do was show his shot gun certificate and there was no need for him to write a letter of any kind. Today another customer (who I don't actually recognise at all) has come in and asked for gun cabinet keys on the understanding that showing the certificate is adequate.


So I thought I would to the obvious thing and contacted my supplier to ask them for a detailed break down on what exactly these security procedures are. The answer "Well we don't actually have anything in writing available , But we suggest asking for a letter of authorization and positive ID, keep these details safe so that in the future you can show you took precautions before cutting the keys".


So baring in mind that when ordering these blanks. I am not asked to provide an security details of any kind. I simply order them along with my other standard range of blanks.


So my question has to be . Can anybody difiniitively give details of exactly what the legal requirement is regarding these security procedures. Is it actually our place to question the customer's integrity when being asked to cut these keys or is it simply the responsibility of the owner to ensure that these keys are not getting into the wrong hands?


I am interested to hear your thoughts and comments on this situation.





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We ask if the customer is the owner of the lock/safe/gun safe/security key, if they say yes we then ask for ID and fill out a form we made years

ago stating they are the owner of said key and they are authorised to obtain duplicates.


If they are getting the key for someone else we ask them to provide a letter of authorisation from the owner allowing the person named to obtain

extra keys.


We keep these records forever and they are in a locked filing cabinet.


I don't actually think there is any requirement in law with regards to copying keys it just makes customers feel secure that you are a good honest

company to deal with.


We have at least 15/20 people a year who walk out saying they have no id with them for a safe key and we never see them again, even when i am the only one local who can cut some of the keys they are trying to obtain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I've now had a reply from the Police. It would seem that in fact there are no security procedures to follow. 


It's the responsibility of the key owner to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands.


So from now on my policy will be quite simple. If I can get the blank I'll cut the key.  No questions asked.

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