South Yorkshire Police launch new licensing system
South Yorkshire Police are the third force in the country to launch a database that will store applications for firearms and explosives licences from around the UK.
The National Firearms Licensing Management System, that will go live in South Yorkshire today (July 17), will act as a central register of people who have a firearm, shot gun, explosives, gun club or registered firearms dealers' licence.
Using the new system, all intelligence gathered on any individual will be accessible by officers in all 43 forces across the country.
The database was set up to meet the requirements of section 39 of the Firearms Amendment Act 1997. After the Dunblane massacre, Lord Cullen requested a national register to prevent such atrocities reoccurring.
Linda Saynor, South Yorkshire Police Firearms and Explosives Licensing Manager, explained: "The National Firearms Licensing Management System will allow firearms officers to check the applicant on the database to see whether an application has been submitted anywhere in the country previously and what the outcome was."
"Ultimately, the system will mean that all applications and renewals for firearms and explosives will be dealt with more securely, thus having a positive impact on public safety."
Chief Superintendent Bob Sanderson said: "Sharing intelligence is the main issue here, the system will be a significant step forward for all forces. It allows each force to share information in relation to any incidents involving firearms."
"The Force has always had an independent database for storing applications for firearms and explosives but it was much harder for them to view information from other forces."
The system has been funded by the Home Office and is supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). The Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) supplied technical leadership and project management.