Arquebus and UNLIREC complete six Double Casting training courses in the Caribbean region

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) together with Arquebus has completed the delivery of six Double Casting training courses and provided the necessary equipment for Double Casting in the Caribbean region. Georgetown, Guyana was the sixth and final Double Casting training course delivered by UNLIREC and Arquebus’ Double Casting specialist, Connor Patmore. Four similar courses were delivered to national authorities in Bahamas, Barbados, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago as well as a sub-regional workshop to participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Double Casting increases the capability of national authorities to establish connections between firearms crimes nationally, regionally and internationally. The training built capacity in the region to create microscopic quality detailed plastic resin replicas of projectiles and cartridge cases from silicone moulds made from original pieces of evidence that can be peer reviewed and uploaded to a Ballistics Identification Network, such as the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) and Interpol Ballistics Information Network (IBIN), or shared across jurisdictions for comparison in lieu of the original piece of evidence without effecting the chain of custody.

The equipment supplied for the training as well as consumables to conduct further Double Casting of projectiles and cartridge cases were handed over to each of the beneficiaries on completion of the training. The sub-regional beneficiaries will also receive Double Casting kits that have now been shipped to each of their jurisdictions.

The training package that Arquebus provided includes continued support to all of the participants to ensure the Double Casting process continues to be carried out successfully as well as being able to support them with re-supplies of consumables and help with any technical queries.

The Double Casting training is part of UNLIREC’s Caribbean Operational Forensic Ballistics Assistance Package, which is made possible thanks to the support of the US Department of State and the Government of Canada.

 

Newsweek Article on Arquebus – Orlando Shooting and Using Ballistics Intelligence

Newsweek have published an article highlighting the importance of intelligence sharing and a joined up system of work in the fight against the illegal use of firearms. Arquebus’ Project EFFECT study published last month looked at these issues around information sharing as a means of reducing the threat.

It is vital to have an effective means of intelligence development and sharing that can identify emerging threats and risks posed by individuals, crime gangs and terrorist organizations. It is vital that law enforcement organizations be supported by appropriate legislation that seeks to not only prosecute those who are involved in the use of illegal firearms, but also those who are involved in their illegal supply and distribution.

The perpetrator of the Orlando shooting on the 12th June legally purchased weapons and had on more than one occasion, been interviewed about his possible connections to terrorism, according to Newsweek. However, he was still able to obtain firearms legally.

Despite the relative difference in scale between Europe and the U.S. regarding the availability of firearms, it is our belief that what is required is the development of a ‘ballistic intelligence’ system of work that brings together all available information on the criminal use of firearms in fast time. This information can then be communicated to law enforcement partners to help not only detect crimes, but more importantly to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Source – Newsweek
Image – Wired.com

Researchers call for Europe-wide ballistic information sharing network to tackle gun crime

All countries across Europe are being urged to establish special ‘Firearms Focal Points’ to collect, study and share information about firearms and ballistics to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun crime and terrorism.

That’s one of the key findings following a 15-month multi-agency research project led by Coventry University. The EFFECT Project, which launched in February last year, looked to establish a clearer picture of the prevalence of gun crime across Europe and identify initiatives and interventions to tackle the problem.

Recommendations from the project, which was funded by the European Union and supported by the United Nations Development Programmes South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC), were presented to members of the European Parliament, European police chiefs and heads of international law enforcement agencies, including Interpol and Europol, in Brussels today (Wednesday May 25).

While researchers looked in detail at countries in South Eastern Europe, the recommendations are relevant to all European countries, regardless of whether they are members of the EU.

Coventry University’s Dr Helen Poole, one of the project leaders, said:

“In South Eastern Europe we found that investigators  and prosecutors require additional ballistics intelligence support and training that would  enable them to understand the positive impact that ballistics information can deliver in solving crimes and tackling terrorism.

“Countries also need to have the necessary technology and procedures in place that would enable them to further reduce the availability and use of illegal firearms. If each country created a single ‘Firearms Focal Point’ to gather, analyse and then share information not only about the firearms, but also its pertaining ballistic material, with their counterparts across South East Europe, and beyond, this would be a major leap forward in protecting communities. That is why a proposal is being put forward towards the establishment of the South East Europe Ballistic Information Network.

“Enabling that network to operate alongside a proposed EU-wide network, with ballistic information being shared between countries through agreed protocols and managed by Europol, which already handles criminal intelligence to improve effectiveness and cooperation between states, would allow links between gun crime, criminals and the firearms trafficking across the continent to be identified.”

As part of the research Arquebus, a UK based company specialising in ballistics intelligence, was asked to examine 1,000 gun cartridge cases provided by the Serbian Police Directorate from previous cases in Serbia, and examine them further, working with the country’s National Criminalistic Technical Centre.

Arquebus Director Matt Lewis said: 

“In our examination of cartridge cases in Serbia, using Ballistic analysis systems not currently available in the country, we were able to identify connections relating to around 50 shootings, a considerable number of which were previously unknown. We also compared the results against a number of ballistic databases in other countries and identified potential links with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Sweden.

“Firearms are used by criminals on multiple occasions both internally within a country and across international borders. Developing an accurate picture of their use and how they are trafficked is vital and is in the interest of all citizens across Europe and beyond. A Europe-wide ballistic information network will help further reduce deaths and injuries caused by the illegal use of firearms for crimes and terrorism.

“Understanding more about where they originate from, how they move within countries and cross-border, and have been used before will enable the UK to work with other countries to help tackle the problem at source, rather than at our border.”

Further information about the Effect Project, including the agencies involved and the main findings and recommendations report, is available at this link.