Arquebus Director Contributes to TIME Article – How Europe’s Terrorists Get Their Guns

Be sure to read TIME’s recent article on How Europe’s Terrorists Get Their Guns with contributions from Arquebus Director, Paul James.

The rise in so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating with relative autonomy partly explains the shift in tactics: guns require less expertise to use than bombs. Making and transporting a bomb requires effort and communication, which in turn leads to a higher risk of being discovered by the authorities.

“The fact is that we are seeing homegrown, localized threats within communities, who know where firearms are,” Brian Donald, chief of staff of Europol, the E.U.-wide policing organization, told TIME in an interview after the Copenhagen attack in February. “They don’t have to have a big terrorist network to support them, they can go out and buy one [weapon] on the street. That is what the police in Europe are facing.”

Prize Awarded to Connor Patmore for Placement with Arquebus

As part of our ongoing projects, Connor has been working with Arquebus for the past 12 months supporting our clients overseas. His exceptional performance during his time with us has been recognised by being awarded the Hays Specialist Recruitment Prize 2015 in a special ceremony in association with Coventry University graduation.

“This prize is a great way of enhancing my employability prospects and demonstrates the kind of recognition you can get from working hard during your studies”.

We would like to congratulate Connor on his prize and excellent contribution to Arquebus as part of his placement. Although Connor is now completing his final year at Coventry University of his Forensic Investigations degree, he continues to work with us in enhancing our double casting capabilities.

Hays recruitment (1)

Arquebus Appoints New Team Members

Arquebus is delighted to announce the appointment of three new team members. These appointments represent the growth of the organisation and the high standard and skill level the organisation is building its global brand upon.

Firstly, Arquebus welcomes Adrian Whiting QPM as Head of Small Arms & Light Weapons Control Projects. Adrian served for more than thirty years in the UK Police Service, undertaking duties in London, Hampshire and for eleven years as the Assistant Chief Constable (Operations) for Dorset.

Operationally he commanded the Safety & Security operation for the London 2012 sailing events, a number of party political conference security operations and served as a Police Strategic Firearms Commander, including as a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Counter Terrorist Extreme Threats Commanders Cadre. This latter role was a national one concerning combined response to extreme threats, involving joint work with UK Armed Forces. Adrian undertook national responsibility, on behalf of UK ACPO, as the Lead Chief Officer for firearms and explosives control, which included border security and international liaison. He developed policy and assessed technical matters for interpretation.

Secondly Geoff Spicer has been appointed as Head of Training Services. Geoff’s unique blend of operational policing experience, academic qualification and experience of training law enforcement agencies world-wide allow him to design and deliver the most powerful training events to clients. Geoff has already delivered a comprehensive Arquebus firearms training project on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Firearms and Risk Management (FERM) Project in Kosovo.

As a Chief Superintendent with over 30 years’ experience he retired from the UK police service in July 2014. At that time he was the Area Commander for one of the largest and highest performing command units in the South West of England commanding over 1,000 staff with responsibility for a budget circa. £50 million.

Geoff is an accredited UK National Police Trainer who holds industry standard qualifications in adult and further education as well as a 1st Class honours degree in education.

In addition, Molly Jenkins has been appointed as Project Support Officer for Arquebus. Molly’s primary role is to support the Project Leads and Management Team in areas such as SALW Control Projects and the European Union funded, Project EFFECT.

Matt Lewis, Director of Arquebus said;

“I am delighted to welcome such talented and skilled individuals to the Arquebus team. Our work in supporting international organisations, governments and the law enforcement community as a whole has never been more relevant or required.

“I am confident that the skills our new appointments bring to Arquebus are without doubt world-class.”

IFFS 2015, Project EFFECT and BBC Interview

It has been a busy few weeks for us working on Project EFFECT and preparing for the Interpol Firearm Forensics Symposium (IFFS) 2015. This year the event is taking place at the new INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore from October 7 through to October 9.

If you are attending the event we will be presenting an update on the first day of the event centred around Project EFFECT with Dr. Helen Poole of Coventry University. The objective of Project EFFECT is:

 ‘To enhance the sharing of information about gun enabled crime transnationally across Europe with a view to reducing the threat posed to the internal security of the EU by the illegal supply and use of firearms’

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire came to visit our laboratory last week to see how we work. You can listen to the interview below on our Youtube Channel or on Soundcloud.

Our current phase of work involves:

Utilising the ballistic intelligence derived from cartridge cases
recovered from crime scenes in the Western Balkan Countries and bordering countries to show how crime guns are being moved between these countries and beyond, and to illustrate the types of crimes that are being committed using the same weapon transnationally.

Follow the progress of this project and our other activities by following our social media platforms:

Launching Our Double Casting Capability

wp cast

One of the biggest challenges we find working with our partners across the globe is the movement of ballistic material across borders. Although Arquebus can vouch for the secure storage of material within our own facilities, the logistical path leaves many questions with regards to the security and integrity of the material whilst in transit; as well as jurisdictional issues as evidence moves across international borders.

In order to address these concerns and facilitate the rapid movement of ballistic material across international borders Arquebus has received advanced training on casting techniques from Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology (UEFT). Drawing on the expertise of UEFT, the recognised Interpol casting process and Arquebus’ own knowledgebase, we have established our own protocol that develops upon the recognised process present within the international community.

The Arquebus double casting capability is intended to support our partners in several ways:

  • To cast all ballistic material for safe transportation back to our UK based laboratory for acquisition and / or correlation review on the latest version of the IBIS HD3D technology
  • To upgrade the acquisition quality from previous versions of IBIS to the latest HD3D technology without occupying acquisition units in a working laboratory
  • In countries where material is held by regional police forces, to create a centralised OCF whereby comparative microscopy can be conducted immediately once a ballistic hit has been detected on IBIS
  • To support partners to clear backlogged cases.

All IBIS data acquired by Arquebus is transferred directly back to the servers of our partners.


Our Process

Our casting process is conducted using separate vacuum chamber and pressure pot vessels in order to create a high volume of casted material at the best possible quality. All of our silicones and resins are the established and recognised products best suited for casting ballistic material.

The casting kit purchased from Arquebus is delivered to our partners for casting to be conducted in a secure environment. With the casting kit, Arquebus also provides a cast exhibit storage solution that immobilises the material for transport back to the UK. This is an essential part of the process to ensure the casts are in a pristine condition for acquisition onto IBIS and no detail is lost in transit.

Arquebus can also provide the necessary training and protocol support for our partners to cast using our kit during our time in the laboratory. Additionally we also ship resupply kits for the consumable elements of the casting kit, which deplete and degrade over time.

More info

If you would like to know more about our casting capability please get in touch or come and visit our stand at IFFS this year.