The Importance of Scientific and Technical Innovation in the Police Investigation of Gun Crime

Abstract

............................................................................................................................................ 12 Chapter 1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 13 1.1 Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 2 – Literature Review .............................................................................................................. 18 2.1 Gun Crime Reporting, Levels and Trends .................................................................................. 19 2.1.1 Gun Crime in the UK ........................................................................................................... 19 2.1.2 Incidence of Gun Crime in the UK – Research other than Official Statistics ........................ 22 2.1.3 Gun Crime outside the UK .................................................................................................... 24 2.2 Gun Crime: Types of Offender .................................................................................................. 32 2.2.1 Guns, Gangs and Drugs ........................................................................................................ 32 2.2.2 Theories of Crime and Gang Involvement ............................................................................ 32 2.3 Gun Crime Reduction Strategies ............................................................................................... 38 2.3.1 Firearms Legislation in the UK .............................................................................................. 38 2.3.2 Consequences of UK Legislation .......................................................................................... 39 2.3.3 Supply, Distribution and Trafficking of Firearms .................................................................. 39 2.3.4 Targeting Illegally Sourced Firearms and Weapon Registration .......................................... 43 2.4 Investigating Gun Crime I – Investigative Process .................................................................... 45 2.4.1 Specialist Police Operations – Operation Trident ................................................................ 45 2.4.2 Specialist Police Operations – Operation Ceasefire ............................................................. 46 2.5 Investigating Gun Crime II – Forensic Ballistics Analysis and Implications for Technology ...... 49 2.5.1 Matching Bullets ................................................................................................................... 49 2.5.2 Matching Cartridge Cases..................................................................................................... 51 2.5.3 Ballistics Analysis in the Past – Comparison Microscopy ..................................................... 54 2.5.4 Declaring a Match – Confirmation Bias ................................................................................ 54 5 2.5.5 Ballistics Analysis Present – Ballistics Analysis Systems Manufactured by Forensic Technology .................................................................................................................................... 56 2.5.6 Ballistics Analysis Systems Present – Manufacturers other than Forensic Technology ...... 70 2.5.7 Ballistics Analysis in the Future – New Technology and Alternative Techniques ................ 70 2.6 Potential Barriers to Innovation ................................................................................................ 74 2.6.1 Technology Adoption ........................................................................................................... 74 2.6.2 Lessons from the Successful Adoption of ANPR Technology ............................................... 75 2.6.3 Lessons from the Successful Adoption of CCTV Technology ................................................ 76 Chapter 3 – Aims and Objectives .......................................................................................................... 80 3.1 Areas for Innovation Identified by the Literature Review ........................................................ 81 3.1.1 Gaps in Knowledge ............................................................................................................... 81 3.1.2 Unreported Crimes ............................................................................................................... 81 3.1.3 Using Data Effectively ........................................................................................................... 82 3.1.4 Ballistics Analysis Systems .................................................................................................... 83 3.1.5 Gaps in Research Concerning Ballistics Analysis Systems .................................................... 85 3.1.6 Examination of Ballistics Analysis Systems – Key Variables ................................................. 87 3.1.7 Gaps in the Literature – Multidisciplinary Research ............................................................ 90 3.1.8 Multidisciplinary Research – Confirmation Bias................................................................... 90 3.1.9 Opportunity for Innovation .................................................................................................. 91 3.1.10 Summary ............................................................................................................................ 92 3.2 – Aims .......................................................................................................................................... 93 3.2.1 Summary of Gaps in the Literature ...................................................................................... 94 3.2.2 Research Objectives ............................................................................................................. 94 Chapter 4 – Methodology ..................................................................................................................... 95 4.1 Introduction to Methodology and Rationale for the Experimental Work ................................ 96 4.1.1 Rationale for the Experiment ............................................................................................... 96 4.1.2 Lack of Interoperability between Different Systems ........................................................... 96 4.1.3 Progress Towards Interoperability ....................................................................................... 98 4.1.4 The Absence of an Evidence Base on the Performance of Different Systems ..................... 98 4.1.5 Why have Systems from Different Manufacturers not been compared using the Same Data Set? ................................................................................................................................................ 99 4.1.6 Generating a Test Set of Ammunition .................................................................................. 99 4.1.7 Location of Ballistics Analysis System Manufacturers ......................................................... 99 6 4.1.8 Difficulties using a System Installed in a Working Laboratory ........................................... 100 4.1.9 Time it takes to acquire a Large Test Set of Ammunition .................................................. 100 4.1.10 Financial Implications of Conducting such an Experiment ............................................... 100 4.1.11 Difficulties Experimenting with Systems from Different Manufacturers ......................... 100 4.2 Background to the Experimental Research ............................................................................. 102 4.2.1 Understanding Current Ballistics Technologies that are Available .................................... 102 4.2.2 Background to and Evolution of the Experimental Design ................................................ 103 4.2.3 Result of Research at the End of 2009 ............................................................................... 105 4.3 – Experimental Design ............................................................................................................... 106 4.3.1 Overview of Ballistics Analysis System Workflow .............................................................. 106 Figure 4-1: Ballistics Analysis System Workflow Diagram ........................................................... 108 4.3.2 High Level Overview of the Experimental Design .............................................................. 109 4.3.3 Experimental Design........................................................................................................... 111 4.3.4 Location of Research .......................................................................................................... 111 4.3.5 Operator of Each System .................................................................................................... 112 4.3.6 Obtaining Test Fired Ammunition ...................................................................................... 113 4.3.7 Test Firing Process and Bullet Recovery Method ............................................................... 114 4.3.8 Choice of Weapon .............................................................................................................. 115 4.3.9 Ammunition Type ............................................................................................................... 116 4.3.10 Preparation of Ammunition ............................................................................................. 117 4.3.11 Sample Size and Construction .......................................................................................... 117 4.3.12 Details of the Bullet Sample ............................................................................................. 117 4.3.13 Details of the Cartridge Case Sample ............................................................................... 120 4.3.14 Delivery of Results ............................................................................................................ 121 4.3.15 Application of the Results to Wider Policing Issues ......................................................... 122 Chapter 5 – Results and Discussion ..................................................................................................... 123 5.1 – Results .................................................................................................................................... 124 5.1.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Thomas2015TheIO, title={The Importance of Scientific and Technical Innovation in the Police Investigation of Gun Crime}, author={Jennifer J Thomas}, year={2015} }