... to the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) web site. Our site has been created with the intention of sharing knowledge about the work of the service and to inform our partners in the police service, other law enforcement agencies, academic institutions and the public of our aims and intentions.
The UK has a firm 'anti-gun' culture in respect to the illegal possession and use of firearms. The British public is not prepared to tolerate gun crime and the presence of illegally held firearms has been, and will remain, socially unacceptable within our communities. Despite this, there is a criminal sub-culture which views the possession and use of firearms as a means to reinforce serious criminal activity and to achieve respect and revenge; this ensures gun crime will remain a national concern for the foreseeable future.
The impact of gun crime in the UK is felt most acutely by the individuals, families and communities suffering from the loss of human life. It is, however, true to say the UK experiences relatively low levels of gun crime in comparison to countries were firearms are more readily available. Gun crime therefore has an increased impact when it occurs and the momentum of professional and public concern has led to support from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) for a comprehensive strategy to combat and reduce firearms criminality and to safeguard society.
As a key component in the Governments strategy to reduce firearms criminality the National Ballistics Intelligence Service has been created. Our mission is to provide a world leading intelligence capability that builds upon existing good practice to ensure that we are in the best possible position to allow UK law enforcement agencies to quickly solve crimes where firearms have been used, to identify the few individuals who actively import, store and supply illegal firearms and to track down the people involved in illegally converting or adapting firearms.
The NABIS database was launched across England and Wales on the 28th April 2008 and across the SPSA in March 2010. It delivers for the first time, a national database of all recovered firearms and ballistic material coming into police possession. This includes items such as complete rounds of ammunition, cartridge cases and projectiles. The database also links these ballistics items to tactical intelligence recorded by police forces and other UK Law enforcement agencies.
NABIS also provides a police governed forensic capability to link firearms incidents. Four regional facilities have been created allowing us to test fire, analyse and link firearms and ballistic material to items submitted from other incidents across the UK. This allows Senior Investigating Officers to access quick time intelligence that is so essential to solving offences expeditiously. The NABIS hubs provide fast time intelligence on submitted items but will not be developed into evidential products. Evidential material required as evidence in court will continue to be delivered by independent forensic service providers, thereby creating a firewall between intelligence and evidence products. This will also ensure that turn around times within the NABIS hubs are kept to a minimum. The 4 hubs will use the latest equipment and will be at the forefront of firearms forensic technology.
NABIS aims to deliver contemporary, reliable and focused intelligence on the criminal use of firearms. Used correctly the information NABIS is able to provide can focus concerted enforcement activity to remove guns from our streets, identify those individuals who supply illegal firearms and make a genuine difference by making all our communities safer.