Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) linked more than 350 guns
with crimes in its first year of operation, Policing and Crime
Minister David Hanson announced today.
The service, which was jointly established by the Home Office and
the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in November 2008,
helps police forces to solve crimes in which guns have been used,
identify the minority of individuals who import and supply guns
illegally and track down people who are illegally converting or
Policing and Crime Minister David Hanson MP said:
"Thankfully gun crime is rare and continues to decline,
however, when it occurs it ruins lives and devastates communities
- and that is why we are committed to getting weapons off our streets.
"Through state-of-the-art intelligence NABIS has been
instrumental in enabling the police to truly understand the extent
and nature of gun crime in way not previously possible. This
pioneering ballistics work has helped to bring ruthless criminals
to justice and clamp down on the minority of people who use guns illegally."
NABIS has three areas of delivery: Forensic Services,
Intelligence and Knowledge. These three areas come together to
ensure a complete and holistic approach to tackling gun crime.
Police forces and other law enforcement agencies can submit
ballistic material to one of the NABIS regional centres. NABIS is
then able link ballistic items to previous crimes and incidents
within 48 hours, enabling police to establish crucial links within
the initial hours of an investigation.
Gun crime in the UK is rare and there has been an 11 per cent
fall since 2005. The government is absolutely committed to
tackling gun crime through targeted policing and tough powers. The
UK has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, with a
five year mandatory minimum sentence for gun possession, and
average sentences for firearm possession triple those of a decade ago.
Assistant Chief Constable Susannah Fish, Association of Chief
Police Officers lead on the criminal use of firearms said:
"NABIS has been a huge step forward in the fight against
gun crime, ACPO and the Home Office have created a truly national
and integrated approach to tackling this type of crime.
"Nowhere else is the world is there a firearms service
such as this. NABIS is able to focus on science, intelligence and
knowledge in a constructive and dynamic way. My message to
communities is that we are dedicated to stamping out this type of
crime and are working hard in delivering a joined up and effective response."
The linking of intelligence-based forensic services and
integrated intelligence products provide UK policing with a unique
system which is unrivalled anywhere in the world.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. NABIS was initially jointly funded by the Home Office and the
Association of Chief Police Officers in November 2008, with an
investment of £5.5 million. The Association of Chief Police
Officers continues to fund the service for a further £2.5 million
2. More information about the National Ballistics Intelligence
Service can be found at www.nabis.police.uk.
3. In September 2007 the government launched the successful
Tackling Gangs Action Programme to tackle gun and gang crime. The
ongoing work is now embedded within the Tackling Knives and
Serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP).
4. In its first year of operation NABIS has received nearly 2,000
submissions from UK law enforcement into the NABIS regional
centres, these submissions have consisted of nearly 4,000
individual items. NABIS has linked over 350 firearms incidents and
supported the police forces of England and Wales with intelligence
packages relating to numerous incidences.
5. NABIS Intelligence Cell creates structured, representative and
supportive intelligence information for police forces and law
enforcement agencies. Focused on what firearms are used, how they
are used and by whom they are used, the NABIS Intelligence Cell is
able to support partners in targeting offenders and Organised
Crime Groups (OCG's) as well as developing our
understanding of the supply of firearms into and within the UK.
Home Office Press Office
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