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Crime: Databases

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she expects the National Ballistics Intelligence Service Database, the National Firearms Register on the Police National Computer and the National Firearms Licensing Management System to be able to share data. (194664)

The potential requirements for the sharing of information between the National Ballistics Intelligence Service Database (NABIS) and the National Firearms Licensing Management System was examined, and discussed, in detail by key stakeholders (including forensic and investigatory professionals) throughout the lifetime of the project management process.

It was found that the potential crossover between the data held by the systems was very small, due to the very low instances of legally held firearms being used in gun crime and the small overlap in information shared between the two applications. Furthermore, the data descriptors of ‘firearms recovered at Scenes of Crime' and ‘firearms being licensed' may be somewhat different and, as a result, inquiries would be passed from NABIS to expert firearms officers in the Licensing Departments. As a consequence, it was agreed that any risk of legally held firearms being used for criminal purposes was so low that given the difficulty of automating a matching process between systems, the cost of building such an interface would outweigh any perceived benefits.

The NABIS system has been designed to accredited police corporate data model standards, which means that information sharing may be possible in the future providing that there is a business case to do so.