PCC visits NABIS hub to see the technology fighting gun crime

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has visited the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) to see new technology which is helping in the fight against gun crime.

NABIS is hosted by West Midlands Police and provides a dedicated forensic service to analyse ballistic material from across the UK. NABIS forensic hubs utilise cutting edge technology to connect incidents nationwide where ballistic material has been recovered. NABIS then shares the forensic analysis information to create a national picture that links the criminal use of firearms across the country. That works helps police forces fight gun crime.

The team of expert forensic technicians at NABIS examine and test firearms and other ballistic material submitted by police forces across the UK, usually following a crime. The purpose built lab can assist police investigations by identifying key evidence, as well as potentially linking gun crime incidents and specific firearms.

The Police and Crime Commissioner visited NABIS to see for himself the cutting edge work that is done in the fight against gun crime.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said:

"It is totally unacceptable to carry or trade weapons and those doing so will be targeted by West Midlands Police and brought to justice.

"Gun crime and getting weapons off the streets is very important and is a priority of mine. The work that NABIS does is crucial in catching the perpetrators of gun crime and gives police the intelligence they need to get guns off the streets of the West Midlands.

"The fast time intelligence that NABIS delivers on firearms helps police forces like West Midlands fight gun crime by identifying the types of weapons that are being used illegally and co-ordinating activity to remove these weapons from circulation.

"Getting weapons and ammunition off the streets and breaking-up organised gangs is important work in making the streets of the West Midlands safer.

"I have made the targeting of gangs and individuals carrying and trading illegal weapons a priority of the police. In my role as Police and Crime Commissioner I will ensure West Midlands Police continue to focus on this issue.

"Over the last few months there has been a rise in gun crime in the West Midlands, NABIS are key to the response to that."

On his visit David Jamieson saw first-hand the technology recently used to help convict an 'untouchable' member of a notorious Birmingham gang.

Nosakhere Stephenson − known to his contacts as 'Nosa' - was recently jailed for 16-and-a-half years after a police operation (supported with NABIS expertise) exposed him as one of Birmingham's most prolific illegal firearms dealers.

A total of eight firearms, including a MAC-10 machine gun and pump action shotgun found buried in a garden in Aston, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition were recovered.

Although Stephenson was never caught in possession of the guns, phone records linked him to each deal and every other person in the conspiracy − including his right-hand man, Sundish Nazran, from Nijon Close in Handsworth, who was jailed for 13 years.

Detective Chief Supt Jo Chilton, Head of NABIS, said:
"NABIS welcomed Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson's visit to view our facilities. It was an ideal opportunity to show how NABIS works with police forces and other law enforcement agencies to tackle the threat from the criminal use of firearms. The recent awful events in Paris, as well as the tragic loss of life from firearms in Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and London keeps in focus the importance of the work of NABIS and the need for constant review and development of our work to keep people safe. I hope that the PCC found his visit informative and reassuring."

Martin Parker, NABIS Lead Forensic Scientist, said:
"This was a useful opportunity to show the PCC the latest advances in technology in terms of being able to link ballistic incidents. The new 3D HD IBIS system is better than the previous system because of the higher quality images and greater reliability with regard to finding links."

David Jamieson also saw for himself NABIS's new 3D HD IBIS (Integrated Ballistics Identification System) capable of carrying out the automated linking of bullets 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. The technology was funded by the Home Office and is available in all four NABIS hubs - Birmingham, London, Manchester and Glasgow.

NABIS was set up in 2008 following a rise in gun crime in the UK. For more information visit www.nabis.police.uk