Arquebus has worked on a number of high-profile research projects. These include the EU funded Project EFFECT that assessed the scale and nature of gun-enabled crime within the EU and its bordering countries; Project SAFTE, an EU funded, and Flemish Peace Institute-led project that seeks to understand the characteristics of illicit firearms markets; Project FOCAL-SF, to assess the implementation of Firearms Focal Points in Europe and third party states, and Project REGISYNC, to assess the state of play for SALW registration across 37 EU Member States and third party beneficiaries to develop common standards and sharing of best practices.
Our proven track record of supporting research-based projects demonstrates our ability to handle complex projects in isolation, or in support of partners. If you are looking to develop or deliver a research-based project or programme within the SALW area, please do not hesitate to get in touch to see how we can assist you.
The final Project EFFECT recommendations and report can be found here.
Project SAFTE was an EU funded and Flemish Peace Institute-led research project that sought to understand the characteristics of illicit firearms markets.
In doing so, the project explored how terrorists access illicit firearms, and how the EU regulatory framework might prevent terrorists from accessing illicit firearms both now and in the future.
The project produced a series of recommendations for EU policymakers, member states and third party countries to reduce and prevent terrorist access to illicit firearms markets. Arquebus delivered the country assessments for the United Kingdom, Romania and Croatia.
Project FOCAL-SF, also known as the Fight Organized Crime Against Light Small Firearms Project, was developed by the Internal Security Fund – Police (2014-2020)3 of the European Commission.
The main priority of Focal-SF Project was to improve operational cooperation between EU Member States and third party partners located along firearms trafficking routes to and from the EU, such as East and Southeast Europe, and Middle East and North Africa Countries (MENA), notably by supporting joint initiatives on knowledge, detection, investigation and prosecution of firearms trafficking.
Arquebus’ heritage, and our experience in developing 7 Firearms Focal Points (FFPs) in the Balkans in partnership with UNDP SEESAC, naturally made Arquebus a significant partner in the research project. Arquebus produced 4 national FFP (NFFP) research papers which assessed the implementation of NFFPs in accordance with the EU NFFP model and the 2018 EFE Best Practice Guidelines on FFPs in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Albania, in addition to developing a project-wide comparison table which drew on data from the findings of all the FOCAL-SF research studies.
Project REGISYNC is an Internal Security Fund Police-funded project which aims at the reduction of legal firearms diversion in EU Member States and beyond.
The project seeks to do so through the promotion of common minimum standards, effective practices in national firearms registers and improved information exchange among law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the EU and target partner regions such as Southeast Europe, Ukraine and Moldova.
Arquebus is a key research partner, currently aiding the project team in mapping existing legal registers, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and developing recommendations to enable the development of a manual of effective good practices and common minimum standards.
Quantitative Characterisation of Cartridge Cases from Micro-CT
Identification methodologies in forensic ballistics have been long accused of lacking any form of quantification, as most other forensic disciplines are capable of doing.
The reasons for this are well understood and many efforts have been made, without any real consensus – most notability CMS (consecutive matching striae). In pursuit of understanding if quantification is possible, Arquebus worked in collaboration with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick, on a study focused on two aims.
Firstly, to identify whether micro-CT was appropriate and repeatable for measuring the features of a cartridge case with high repeatability and reliability. Secondly, if, by test-firing two different firearms and producing cartridge case controls, a firearm signature could be quantified and therefore identified by using three novel measurements – Firing Pin Sphere Radius, Nadir Height, and Nadir Offset.
The study found micro-CT to be an effective technology at producing repeatable and reliable measurements, and that the three measurements were discriminatory enough to produce a profile for a firearm’s make and model using quantitative data. Further research would be necessary to determine whether a specific firearm could also be identified using this technique.
Project TARGET was an international, EU funded research project that focused on the impact that firearm trafficking has on gun violence in Europe.
It involved an initial study of 34 countries: 27 EU Member Countries and 6 Western Balkan states and further in-depth study of 7 countries. As well as contributing to the initial study of 34 countries Arquebus were responsible for conducting the in-depth research in Sweden and Estonia.
The main findings of Project Target were that gun trafficking is a multifaceted phenomenon that predominantly impacts criminal and terrorist gun violence. The project made a number of key recommendations on how to improve the response to firearm trafficking and gun violence.
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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).