Gun-related criminal investigations are expected to progress considerably faster now that local police have a new Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) as well as trained officers to operate it.
The system allows for police to collect and store two- and three-dimensional images of bullets and cartridge cases, then compare them to guns already in the national database.
According to a media release from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), the system also allows connectivity to the Caribbean Regional Integrated Ballistics Information Network and the International Criminal Police Organization’s ballistics information network.
“The length of time it takes to get results on ballistic links has slowed down our ability to advance investigations and bring timely arrests. With this new system along with equipment and the accompanying training, we can now progress investigations in a more timely manner,” said police commissioner, Michael Matthews.
The United Kingdom provided the new ballistics system to the RVIPF.
Local police from the Crime Scene Investigation Unit recently completed training to operate the system. Training was scheduled to begin last September but was delayed because of the hurricanes.
The system and accompanying officers to operate it comes on the heels of a relatively bloody 2017 when the territory recorded eight gun murders, a relatively high number of armed robberies, and other gun-related crimes.
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