Forensic Technology Blog

INTERPOL Symposium Takes Aim at Regional Gun Crime Intelligence Sharing

Posted by Pete Gagliardi Mar 19, 2015 4:21:00 PM

Logo_IFFS_2015_webThe 2015 INTERPOL Firearm Forensics Symposium (IFFS 2015) – is shaping up to be an excellent springboard for the global law enforcement community to expand the sharing of actionable information to address cross border gun related violence. It will run from October 7-9, 2015 and be held at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore.

IFFS is hosted by INTERPOL in partnership with Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, this unique event is directed at individuals and agencies entrusted with combating firearm related crime. The three-day international conference will discuss how crime gun intelligence can be leveraged to Preserve Peace through Justice, the theme of IFFS 2015.

Ronald K. Noble, the former INTERPOL Secretary General once said that:

"When the criminals operate in multiple countries throughout the world, we must cast as wide a net as possible to catch those valuable pieces of information that will allow us to identify and apprehend those responsible. This is our best defense against transnational illicit networks, whether they are involved in armed robbery, drug trafficking, terrorism, human smuggling or any other crime"

Interest in the subject of sharing information about the criminal use of firearms across national borders was expressed by the United Nations again last June during the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects took place in New York.

The outcome document highlights the availability of tools to support the effectiveness, efficiency and speed of information-sharing related to the tracing of illicit small arms and light weapons, including relevant online platforms, such as tools for information exchange provided by INTERPOL.

Also highlighted was the complementary role that the exchange of ballistics information could play in relation to the tracing of illicit small arms and light weapons in the context of criminal investigations. As an action item it was agreed to encourage States and international, regional and sub-regional organizations in a position to do so to provide, upon request, adequate technical and financial assistance to strengthen national capacities for ballistics information collection and exchange.

One of the tools provided by INTERPOL, is the INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network or IBIN for short. IBIN is the only large-scale international ballistic data sharing network in the world and it is available to all 190 INTERPOL member countries. Connecting to IBIN costs nothing for law enforcement agencies that are already equipped with the IBIS® technology and the service is also available for those not equipped with IBIS. Through IBIN, the opportunity to find that critical investigative lead now exists, even if it is thousands of kilometres away

It would appear that the ASEANAPOL Secretariat also has interest in the same subject as evidenced by their working visit to INTERPOL recently when the Director for Police Services, ACP Mohamad Anil Shah and ASP for Police Services, ASP Raiz Mukhliz Azman Aziz met with Directors of INTERPOL to discuss on various matters including the INTERPOL BALLISTIC INFORMATION NETWORK (IBIN) for the ASEAN Region.

ASEANAPOL is a police association of Southeast Asian Nations formed to enhance regional police cooperation in preventing and combating transnational crime and to collaborate on matters of common interest. Ballistics data collection & exchange capacity across the ASEAN regional has been steadily building. In fact, the Royal Malaysian Police, the Philippine National Police, the Royal Thai Police, all employ IBIS ballistics technology with great success.

For example, in Malaysia three murders in three states were linked by IBIS. Senior Assistant Commissioner Dr. Yew Chong Hooi said that: “The murders in Perak, Johor and Selangor had no real connection between them. But when we put the bullets' information into IBIS, the system linked all three cases because the murders were committed with the same gun”.[1]
As another example, the Philippine National Police (PNP) used IBIS as part of a four-year investigation involving a series of thirty-three extremely violent and senseless criminal acts that would leave thirty-eight people dead and almost as many wounded across ten cities and seven provinces in the Philippines. The 3K Killings investigation was primarily advanced through the good use of IBIS technology leading the PNP literally to a suspect’s front door. For this, the PNP Crime Lab was recognized with the prestigious August Vollmer Award for Excellence in Forensic Science given by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

ASEANAPOL's organizational objectives are as follows:

  • -increase regional cooperation efforts against transnational crime,
  • -facilitate and coordinate joint operations and activities involving criminal investigations,
  • -build and maintain the ASEANAPOL database, training, and capacity building,
  • -develop scientific investigative tools, technical support and forensic science.

ASEANAPOL and other similar regional organizations would be well positioned to lead their regional ballistics sharing efforts and could greatly contribute to and benefit from the program to be presented at 2015 IFFS.

Unlike the “old” days, when the results of forensic analysis was relied upon mostly as evidence to support guilt or innocence in court; in today’s world, forensic tools and data sharing systems can also generate pro-active actionable intelligence that detectives need to advance their investigations and identify and apprehend the guilty parties.

IFFS 2015 - through its series of plenary sessions, workshops, and training courses, is a great starting point to begin the exploration of current trends in firearm violence in addition to recent advances in forensic analysis techniques and best practices to combat the threat of firearm crimes. Delegates will include ballistic experts, forensic scientists, and law enforcement professionals as well as public safety administrators, policy makers, and national agency directors from INTERPOL member countries. We hope to see you there!

For more information on 2015 IFFS visit: www.iffs2015.com


[1] Using Science to Identify Cold Blooded Killers-Quickly, Retrieved from: http://www.miricommunity.net/discussion/50432/using-science-to-identify-cold-blooded-killers-quickly

Topics: Intelligence-led Policing, ballistics analysis, ballistics identification, ballistics forensics, INTERPOL, IFFS, firearm forensics, IGCI, Singapore

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