The new national gun crime investigation manual for police forces was officially launched on 26 February.
Chief Constable David Thompson, NPCC lead for criminal use of firearms, launched the manual at a conference in Birmingham.
The event featured speakers from various police forces, as well as the National Crime Agency and Border Force.
The updated manual offers a consistent approach to police investigators and other law enforcement agencies to assist them in tackling gun crime. It will form part of Authorised Professional Practice, which is national police guidance co-ordinated by the College of Policing.
David Thompson, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, said: “The new manual offers a one-stop shop for professionals investigating crime involving firearms. This is an important document to ensure a consistent approach for those trying to prevent and detect gun crime.
“Armed criminals shatter communities and police forces are determined to treat the current threat as a priority. However we must bear in mind that gun crime accounts for less than one per cent of total crime in England and Wales. Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world; we aim to continue to protect our borders and stop guns getting into the UK.”
NABIS, the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, was set up in 2008 and works with police forces to investigate gun crime. Experts forensically examine ballistic material submitted to NABIS labs and identify possible matches to other crimes or incidents.
NABIS is led by Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton, who will also attend today’s important conference.
Between April 2014 and March 2015 there were 4912 firearms offences (excluding air weapons) in England and Wales. This is a one per cent increase compared with 4856 offences the previous year.
Of the 4912 recorded firearms offences in the 12 month period the majority of those (2,062) involved handguns. A smaller number of incidents (431) involved shotguns.