Wednesday, 26 March 2003

26-Mar-03 - Gun database due in summer 2004

Gun database due in summer 2004

PITO admits further purchasing delay
Emma Nash, Computing 26 Mar 2003

The national firearms register will be up and running by summer 2004, despite further delays to the procurement process.

The central database of gun ownership has suffered several hold-ups since its recommendation in the Firearms (Amendment) Act in 1997.

Development work should have started in September last year, but problems with the procurement process forced a further delay of around a year (Computing 10 October), with 1 April pinpointed as the new date work would begin.

According to a Police IT Organisation (PITO) spokesman, the tender process has now been extended further by almost a month until 25 April, at the request of one of the bidding suppliers.

'The focus here is getting it right,' he said. 'Our target implementation date is now summer 2004. We're a bit behind on the tender process but we are not expecting that to impact on the go live date.'

The spokesman says the decision making process will commence after 25 April, but it is not known how long that will take.

The National Firearms Certificate Holders Register will be held on the Police National Computer, replacing local forces' existing systems.

The Association of Chief Police Officers first suggested a guns database in 1996. 'A central firearms register would bring clear benefits in crime detection and prevention,' it said at the time.