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08/2017: National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) Collaborative Agreement

Executive Summary and Recommendation:

A recent review by General Sir Nick Parker invited Police and Crime Commissioners to consider continuation of the service provided by National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and the hosting arrangements. The Police and Crime Commissioners agreed that NABIS continues to offer value for money and that the hosting provision currently in place with West Midlands Police (WMP) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) should be retained.

In order to ensure that NABIS can continue to function, it is necessary to provide a vehicle to ensure that collaborative and co-ordinated policing activity can take place.  For this purpose, all Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (the Parties), with the support of the Home Secretary, have agreed to deliver national services for NABIS which shall be hosted by WMP and GMP (the “Host Forces”) in the manner set out in a Collaboration Agreement on behalf of all stakeholders to the Collaboration Agreement.  The Agreement shall take effect from 1 April 2017.

The Collaboration Agreement is made pursuant to Section 22A of the Police Act 1996 (as amended) which enables police forces and local policing bodies as defined in that Act and other parties to make an agreement about the discharge of functions by officers and staff where it is in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of their own and other police force areas.  By entering into this Agreement, the Parties have taken account of the statutory guidance for police collaboration published by the Home Office in October 2012 in exercise of the Home Secretary’s power under section 23F of the Police Act 1996 to provide guidance about collaboration agreements and related matters.

The primary stakeholders to the Collaboration Agreement are the Police Forces of England and Wales (additional stakeholders which include but are not exclusive to this Agreement include: the National Crime Agency, British Transport Police, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Ministry of Defence and Police Scotland) and the support that they are providing is detailed in the current NABIS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and any subsequent NABIS MOU as agreed at Chief Constables’ Council.

It is recommended that the Commissioner for North Yorkshire agrees to the new Collaborative Agreement.


Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 09 August 2017
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

Introduction and Background

NABIS is the UK Ballistic Intelligence Service.  It provides fast time ballistic intelligence for forces across the UK; it enables forces to identify how firearms move from location to location within forces and across force boundaries.  It provides valuable intelligence that allows forces to understand the nature and threat of gun crime in their area.  NABIS works with the police forces of England, Wales and Scotland as well as partner LEAs such as Police Scotland, British Transport Police (BTP), Ministry of Defence Police (MODP), MI5, National Crime Agency (NCA), the UK Border Force (BF) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The collaboration agreement provides a valuable ‘insurance policy’ for forces against significant cost in the event of a major firearms recovery or significant firearms incident.

In 2014, NABIS was able to assist one force linked to a major firearms recovery in its area.  The force indicated that it had saved over £1m working with NABIS, versus the cost of work by an equivalent private forensic service provider.  The cost of the service to the force beyond the standard NABIS annual subscription payment was ‘zero’.

In 2015, NABIS was able to assist forces to identify an armourer supplying ammunition linked to 79 incidents and 41 shots fired incidents across seven force areas.  18 persons have now been charged with firearms supply offences.

The work that NABIS does aligned to the work of individual forces is critical to the understanding of Gun Crime in the UK.  It helps give a clear understanding of the level of threat posed by the firearms that are available to criminals and allows NABIS to work with forces, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other partners to pro-actively target resources against the greatest threats.

Other Options Considered

No other options considered.

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan Priorities

Priority 2 –  Ambitious Collaboration.  NABIS provides valuable intelligence that allows forces to understand the nature and threat of gun crime in their area.  Continued collaboration will ensure North Yorkshire Police works effectively with other police forces to tackle the threats of gun criminality locally.

Implementation and Resourcing Implications

NABIS is funded solely from contributions made from PCC funds of the 43 police forces of England and Wales based on annual HO ONS data linked to the levels of gun crime within individual forces.

Forces are individually assessed against this criteria on an annual basis and re-charged accordingly. The levels of contribution from forces therefore changes each year according to the levels of gun crime within force.

A Policing Body’s (but excluding the Metropolitan Police Service and any Non Funding Party) contribution towards NABIS which shall be paid in each Financial Year and shall be made up of 2 elements:

  • A usage fee (A) based on a force’s level of firearm offences compared to the national total both of which shall be calculated by reference to the firearms offences recorded by the Office for National Statistics in the most up to date report for the Financial Year immediately preceding the Financial Year for which the calculation is being made (the “Firearms Proportion”). The Firearms Proportion of each force shall be applied to the agreed amount approved by the NABIS Governance Board; and
  • A banding fee (B) calculated by reference to the Firearms Proportion
  • The NABIS Funding Formula is as follows;

Individual Force Contribution = Usage Fee (A) + Banding Fee (B)

An example of the contributions to be paid by the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire for 2016/17 is £21,003.14.  This has been calculated from the averages of the previous 5 years of contributions.

The following fees detailed in the chart below have been paid by North Yorkshire Police over the last four years.

Invoice Date Amount Description
21/05/2013 18,978.00 NABIS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 13/14
09/06/2014 19,273.00 NABIS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 14/15
03/07/2015 18,585.00 NABIS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 15/16
01/11/2016 19,110.00 NABIS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 16/17

Consultations Carried Out

Name (Collar Number) Department Comments
Office of the PCC
J Palmer Financial Services See below
Local Policing
Beyond Local Policing
R Holmes (4647) Human Resources Contents reviewed and noted no People related issues.
J Wintermeyer Joint Corporate Legal Services See below
Corporate Communications
Property and Facilities
  Information and Communications Technology
Joint Corporate Commissioning and Partnership Services
  Organisation and Development
  Information Management

Compliance Checks

Financial Implications/Value for money:

The financial implications, as set out within the Decision Notice, are affordable within the current plans of the Force and therefore should the Commissioner approve this Decision it will not create any additional financial pressures.

Legal Implications:

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Human Resources Implications:           

The above document has been reviewed and no people related issues have been identified.

Public Access to information

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account when reaching the decision.  This Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain.  The decision and information will be made available on the Commissioner’s website.

Only where material is properly classified as Restricted under the Government Protective Marking Scheme or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made.  In these instances, Part 2 will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Part two

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – NO

Report Information

Author(s) : Maria Earles
Head of Department: Head of Organisation and Development
Executive Group Sponsor(s) : DCC Winward
Date created: 12.05.17

Background documents:

Please note that when submitting papers for Executive Board consideration, additional documents should not be embedded within this document but provided separately, and must be clearly and correctly labelled (e.g. Appendix A).

I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received against this and any associated Part 2 information and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision

Signature: Maria Earles
Date:  12.05.17



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