Police forces start firearms database trial
Testing to begin in September
Emma Nash, Computing 14 Jul 2004
Two English police forces will start a pilot of the national firearms database in September - seven years since the system was first recommended.
Lancashire and Metropolitan Police will be the first to trial the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS).
Initial user acceptance testing begins in August, before the full system is tested the following month.
Some 42 police forces in England and Wales are expected to migrate to the new system by January next year, according to the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO), which is co-ordinating the project.
One force is expected to have problems with the migration, so the final deadline is April 2005.
The NFLMS was originally recommended in the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 but suffered numerous delays, with work finally beginning at the end of 2003 (Computing, 18 December).
A further delay has caused the pilot to be put back by a month, but a spokesman for PITO told Computing it was not technology-related but a result of 'mundane things'.
'The original target was ready for service in August,' he said. 'That has slipped into September, but as far as we know the project remains on target.'
Supplier Anite is developing the technology, which will provide a central, searchable gun register on the Police National Computer in Hendon. Forces will be able to search for all people holding firearms and related certificates, instead of using local registers.
The NFLMS is based on an Oracle database, developed with Java and reporting tools from Business Objects.
The Anite application will be used in England and Wales. A separate system has been devised for Scottish forces.