(CNS): Local police welcomed a delegation of law enforcement officials from regional British Overseas Territories to Cayman this week as the RCIPS began its role as a focal point for ballistic work in crime fighting. The information network for ballistics will see UK territories in the Caribbean exchanging forensics, collaborating in the battle against illegal guns and combatting transnational crime. The RCIPS was selected by the FCO last year from the agencies in the territories to serve as the “hub” for the analysis of ballistic data gathered during criminal investigations.
Using new forensic ballistic equipment and recent training provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), staff with the RCIPS Scenes of Crime Office have now begun receiving and analysing this data from across the territories, and sharing and cross-referencing it with information provided by the INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network.
This new capacity is expected to generate significant investigative leads and help combat gun crime across the region.
“This is about being able to better track the movement of firearms which we know is a transnational criminal activity affecting all jurisdictions across the region,” said Derek Byrne, Commissioner of Police.
“Reducing firearms importation and gun crime is a major priority for the RCIPS, and this is a powerful 21st century policing tool that provides us with the capacity to modernize and accelerate our investigations,” he added.
The ballistics identification equipment will allow the RCIPS to collect and store 2D and 3D images of cartridge cases and bullets, perform automatic and manual correlations, analyse correlation results, and compare images to assist in the investigation of firearm-related crime. This capacity is much greater than the police service’s prior ability, bringing technical prowess in this area to the organisation and staff.
“It is an honour for the RCIPS to lead this new network of ballistic data cooperation,” Byrne stated. “We’re grateful for the FCO’s support, which has enabled the development of this new capacity and the modernisation of crime-fighting across the territories.”