Monday, February 26, 2007

Forensically challenged Home Office

There has been a lot said about potential knee-jerks responses by Government to the recent firearms problems. According to Kablenet the Government is going to improve tracking guns through technology and a new database.

Apparently "from April 2008 the Home Office plans to launch the National Ballistics Intelligence Database (NABID), which will replace the current £1.1m National Firearms Forensic Intelligence Database (NFFID), launched in 2002."

According to a Home Office spokesman, the NFFID is "too expensive" for the police to commission information from. By replacing it with the NABID it will "be cheaper because it will be owned and operated by the police." In relation to the NFFID the Home Office spokesman said,
"The NFFID is owned by the Forensic Science Service. As a highly qualified specialist operation, they charge top end for information commissioned,"
A quick look at the Forensic Science Services website shows that it is actually the trading name of Forensic Science Service Ltd., which is a UK Government owned company.

In other words, the Government owned NFFID has to be replaced by the NABID because the Government is charging itself too much to use it. The solution according to the Government is to spend £4m on a new system as opposed to charging itself less to use the system that it already built and owns.

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