Developing the big picture to identify the source of illegal firearms and ammunition
Terms of Reference for a Firearms Focal Point
Firearms Focal Points (FFPs) provide an integrated tactical and strategic intelligence service that informs and supports law enforcement agencies in better understanding and effectively tackling firearms crime, minimising the risk of SALW misuse locally and internationally.
What is an FFP?
FFPs are born from a vision where a single capability is created to develop and enhance information, intelligence, and forensic data related to the criminal use of firearms.
They function at both a strategic and operational level by means of the co-ordinated collection and sharing of information, leveraging a combination of legal control, intelligence, ballistic data and analysis.
In doing so, FFPs generate new investigative opportunities and knowledge which aids the solving and prevention of firearms crime, in addition to providing a framework within which Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) can continue to develop expertise and improve analytic and strategic reporting capabilities regarding the misuse and illicit trafficking of firearms.
Arquebus’ Pioneering Work on FFPs
The first FFP of its type in Europe was launched in 2008 with the UK’s establishment of the National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS).
Arquebus’ CEO Paul James was the programme manager responsible for overseeing the development and operational activity of NABIS between 2006 and 2012. NABIS was designed to leverage developments in forensic technology such as automated ballistic identification systems (ABIS) in conjunction with fast-time intelligence techniques to provide:
• Comprehensive, up to date intelligence on firearms and ballistic intelligence.
• Strategic intelligence assessments which aid investigations and operations targeting firearms criminality.
• Recommendations to divert and prevent firearms criminality.
• International firearms tracing services.
• A point of contact and centre of expertise on firearms for national, regional and international partners.
The capabilities and intelligence provided by NABIS has empowered UK law enforcement to address street-level violence, Organised Criminal Gangs, Urban Street Gangs and illegal firearms supply, resulting in a 50% reduction in UK firearms crime in the first six years of its existence.
This was possible through the rapid recovery, processing and analysis of firearms, ballistic material and other associated materials by NABIS, which allowed UK law enforcement to better understand the dynamics of the firearms criminality in each police service area. The ‘investigate the gun’ approach exploits people, processes and technology to develop fast-time intelligence which levels the playing field against criminals operating in today’s complex and ever-evolving security environment.
This has necessitated a change in ‘investigative mindset’ where the emphasis moves from reactive investigation of crimes once they have happened, to a proactive investigation strategy to prevent further crimes occurring by removing firearms from criminal circulation
Leading International FFP Development
Building on the experience gained from their role in establishing NABIS the Arquebus team is leading the way in the development and delivery of FFPs internationally. Working in partnership with the UNDP SEESAC team, Arquebus contributed to the establishment of FFPs in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia and Moldova
Arquebus was also a contributor to Project FOCALSF, conducting a comparative analysis of existing FFPs in Belgium, Netherlands, Albania and the United Kingdom. This work was carried out in support of the EU Action Plan 2020-25 and the 10726/21 European Council Conclusions.
Crucially, the FFP model is not ‘one size fits all’, being adaptable to suit the local security context. For example, an FFP might be a centralised national service such as NABIS, or a ‘virtual’ FFP which utilises a single point of contact to coordinate multiple yet distinct services to operate as an FFP. Arquebus is uniquely positioned as an independent organisation delivering the necessary training, expertise, processes, and technology to enable the development and delivery of an FFP. Based on our extensive experience of firearms criminality, and our proven track record in building FFPs, Arquebus is able to bring a truly independent and internationally experienced team to the development of your FFP.
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FIREARMS FOCAL POINTS
Download PDF on Firearms Focal Points for more information or get in touch.
https://arquebus.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Screenshot-2022-06-30-105023.png 644 1096 Callum Lloyd https://arquebus.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Asset-1arquebus_logo.svg Callum Lloyd2022-06-30 14:14:132022-07-05 13:59:46FIREARMS FOCAL POINTS – EUROPE’S SILVER BULLET?
The criminal misuse of SALW has become increasingly understood as a threat to collective security, with the illicit proliferation of SALW being recognised as a significant enabler for other criminal activities such as drug trafficking, whilst also engendering a perception of general insecurity which undermines public confidence in national authorities’ ability to secure populations (SOCTA, 2021).