When a bullet is fired, it leaves microscopic markings on the casing and on itself. This data can be converted to an image which can be compared to others in our Ballistic Information Network (IBIN).
This ballistics data can reveal links between gun-related crimes in different countries which would otherwise go undetected, providing valuable investigative leads for police. Firearms evidence knows no borders – IBIN has uncovered numerous connections between gun-related crime scenes in different countries.
Matching up crimes across the globe
Ballistics data shared via IBIN has revealed links between gun-related crimes taking place thousands of miles away, providing valuable investigative leads for police.
IBIN is also used to share data on crime guns and casings recovered:
- Within 80 kilometers of international borders;
- By customs or border officials;
- From suspected traffickers of any type of contraband (drugs, documents, guns, etc.);
- In groups of three or more firearms;
- Related to terrorist activities;
- From persons with a residence in another country.
Technology and access
Thanks to a partnership with Forensic Technology, we provide our member countries with access to IBIN so they can share and compare ballistic data. Countries need to be equipped with IBIS® technology to use the database directly.
How IBIS® technology works
IBIS captures digital images of the unique microscopic markings that are found on fired bullets and cartridge cases. An electronic signature is extracted from each image and is compared against the database of previously entered images.
The system provides potential matches (hits) that may link two or more crimes or a suspect’s gun to prior crime(s), thus allowing forensic experts to give police more timely information that can be used to help solve and prevent crimes.
Countries using IBIS on a national level have generated more than 220,000 matches in total. These, in turn, have linked some 440,000 gun-related crimes by providing police worldwide with crime-solving leads which would not have been attainable through other means.
Access for non-IBIN members
Law enforcement agencies from non-IBIN member countries can benefit from IBIN’s international ballistics database by going through the INTERPOL National Central Bureau.
For more information, please contact the INTERPOL Firearms Programme.