The sharing of ballistics data across Europe and neighbouring territories

F. Jeane Gerard, Rebecca L Crookes, Susan Elliott, Michael Hellenbach, Athanasios Stamos, Helen Poole, Erica Bowen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The current study explored the use of ballistic examinations and cross-border information sharing across 14 European countries. The presented data were collected using a mixed methods technique consisting of semi-structured interviews and questionnaires that were completed by participants. The results painted a very heterogeneous picture of the use of automated ballistic systems across these countries, as well as how ballistic analyses are integrated in the fight against gun-enabled crime. Three super-ordinates themes emerged from the thematic analysis: use of automated ballistic systems; ballistic evidence recovery and analysis; knowledge exchange and best practices. The ability to draw firm conclusions regarding the value of ballistics comparison systems, either on a national or cross-border basis, is hampered by inconsistencies regarding data recording practices and definitions. Therefore, key recommendations are suggested to establish better cross border cooperation between member states and develop a better understanding of data sharing procedures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience & Justice
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2017


  • Firearm
  • ballistic evidence sharing
  • European ballistic database
  • open case file
  • cross-border comparison


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