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.


Arquebus Solutions appoints Forensic Firearms Consultancy to supports its new Ballistics Managed Service solution.

Arquebus Solutions are delighted to announce the appointment of Forensic Firearms Consultancy (FFC) as the company’s independent forensic firearms experts. The appointment comes as the company announces the launch of its pioneering Managed Service solution.

The solution allows for the processing of bullet and cartridge case based material using the state of the art Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) produced by Forensic Technology Incorporated (FTI) of Montreal, Canada.


Read more

30 years on. The fight against Gun Crime Continues.

Today is the first time for 30 years that I have woken up on a Monday morning as an ordinary civilian rather than a police officer. It is the first day of my new life as a Director of a Company called Arquebus Solutions which I have established with my former NABIS colleague Matt Lewis.

It is perhaps ironic that as I reach the milestone of completing 30 years police service and retire from my position as the Head of the UK National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) that gun crime is back at the top of the news agenda here in the United Kingdom.

Read more

What a difference a law makes

I am absolutely delighted to hear that the Prime Minister and Home Secretary will announce this week that the Government is to introduce new legislation to tackle the criminals who supply firearms within the UK, and also those who seek to bring firearms into the Country across our borders.

It was back in 2007 as the Chair of the ACPO Criminal Use of Firearms Practitioner group that I first became involved in moves to introduce a new law making it illegal to possess a firearm with intent to supply it to another.

This subject was first highlighted as a result of the circumstances surrounding the prosecution of an individual called Grant Wilkinson, who had set up a gun factory in a farm premises near Reading and was supplying converted MAC-10 machine pistols to the criminal marketplace.  Police were able to link guns from his factory to over 50 shootings, including ten murders.

Read more