The Forensic Hubs are located in Birmingham, London and Manchester (staffed by forensic scientists employed by the West Midlands, Metropolitan and Greater Manchester Police Forces).
A fourth NABIS hub, located in Strathclyde, covers Scotland. This is operated by Scottish Police Authority and provides an essential link in ensuring that the whole of the UK is able to capture, share and evaluate ballistics information and associated intelligence.
The forensic scientists work in state-of-the-art laboratories. As well as traditional optical microscopes, workshops and range facilities, the four labs have access to comprehensive firearms reference collections and library facilities. In addition, there is the ability to make use of other co-located forensic capabilities such as fingerprint enhancement and the most sensitive DNA profiling techniques.
Critical to the service are the latest generation IBIS comparators, capable of carrying out the automated linking of bullets and cartridge cases to both crime scenes and recovered weapons.
IBIS technology is located at each Hub and links in with the NABIS Database, thereby providing police forces with the world's first integrated firearms intelligence capability.