Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today officially opened the new £8 million national ballistics service – providing new ways to help the police solve gun crimes.
The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) provides a specialist ‘CSI-style’ analysis of all ballistics – effectively giving guns and bullets a ‘fingerprint’ which can be tracked.
Police across England and Wales are now able to match guns to offenders more quickly and trace which gun a bullet has been fired from when criminals are using it more than once. NABIS will support the police to solve crimes where firearms have been used quickly, identify the few individuals who import, store and supply illegal firearms and track down the people involved in illegally converting or adapting firearms.
Since NABIS began work three months ago, it has already linked over 100 incidents in which firearms have been discharged and have received over 700 items for analysis.
This announcement builds on the work teh Government is already leading to crack down on gun crime – such as The Tackling Gangs Action Programme, which in its first six months delivered a 51% reduction in firearms-related injuries in gun crime hot-spot areas. Latest quarterly figures showed a reduction of 29% in recorded firearms offences in July-September 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.