ID System To Help Police Firearm Investigations

September 22, 2017 | 5 Comments

In conjunction with the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, an Integrated Ballistic Identification System has “been devised to benefit police firearms investigations,” Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said in the House of Assembly today [Sept 22]

Minister Caines said, “In December 2016, The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office secured approximately $1.3m from the UK’s Conflict Security and Stability Fund [CSSF] to implement an Integrated Ballistic Identification System [IBIS] in each of the Overseas Territories.

“The IBIS will provide the ability to collect and store 2D and 3D images of cartridge cases and bullets, perform automatic and manual correlations, analyze correlation results and compare images.

“The results will link bullets and cartridge cases to specific firearms and crime scenes allowing the BPS to present strong evidence at court as well as track the use of firearms in Bermuda.”

Minister Caines said the full cost of this project, for the first 3 years, has been met from the CSSF, and the financial commitment for the BPS will start in fiscal 2021 and will represent an ongoing cost of $50k per annum.

“This initiative is an important addition to the forensic investigative capacity of the Bermuda Police Service and one which this Government is pleased to support,” he added.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise this Honourable House and the public of an innovation in the continued management of investigation of violent crime in Bermuda.

In conjunction with the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office an Integrated Ballistic Identification System has been devised to benefit police firearms investigations.

Mr. Speaker, in December 2016, The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office secured approximately $1.3m from the UK’s Conflict Security and Stability Fund [CSSF] to implement an Integrated Ballistic Identification System [IBIS] in each of the Overseas Territories.

The IBIS will provide the ability to collect and store 2D and 3D images of cartridge cases and bullets, perform automatic and manual correlations, analyze correlation results and compare images.

The results will link bullets and cartridge cases to specific firearms and crime scenes allowing the BPS to present strong evidence at court as well as track the use of firearms in Bermuda.

Additionally, Mr. Speaker, IBIS will allow connectivity to the Caribbean Regional Integrated Ballistics Information Network [RIBIN] and the INTERPOL Ballistics Information Network [IBIN].

This will provide enhanced forensic capability by widening the scope of evidential comparisons to include global databases.

Mr. Speaker, I can advise this Honourable House that the full cost of this project, for the first 3 years, has been met from the CSSF that is managed by the Overseas Territory Department-Miami office in association with Ultra Electronics – Forensic Technology, the sole manufacturer of IBIS.

The financial commitment for the BPS will start in fiscal 2021 and will represent an ongoing cost of $50k per annum.

The BPS has historically used the professional services of RJ Lee from the US. From 2010 to 2016, the annual cost of these services has ranged from $30k-$150k depending on the amount of cases sent overseas.

The use of IBIS will all but eliminate this cost and given the offsetting effect, the Bermuda Police Service anticipates that the cost of IBIS will be met within the existing budget allocation.

Mr. Speaker, this initiative is an important addition to the forensic investigative capacity of the Bermuda Police Service and one which this Government is pleased to support.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Goose says:

    Does this mean that up until 2021 we will have had no capability to link shell casings across multiple crime scenes?

    This is appalling.

  2. Rocky5 says:

    Thanks British Govt..

  3. George says:

    The million dollar question is how ‘strong’ will this evidence be? Will this information/data be accepted by the Courts as legitimate/bona fide from day one? Does our legislation need amending to allow for the submission of this type of data/information? Lets work this out along with the training required etc. so we don’t encounter another significant ‘miscarriage of justice’ as occurred in the Rebecca Middleton case!

  4. Truths says:

    Thank you UK govt. That said, this is but 1 tool that we will (gladly) use. The problem with us is that the human factor steps in and SCREWS these cases up. Too many thugs getting off because of mishandling, jury knowing the accused’s granny, “lost” evidence… These are all “human” issues that need to be resolved. But yes, thank you UK Govt for another tool for our prosecution toolbox.

  5. Y-Gurl says:

    The BPS will continue to make a complete mess of the investigations and therefore no system will help until you get that part fixed

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