Marking bullets to curb crime Print E-mail
( 5 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 05 April 2018 00:00

Several measures are being taken by the Government of Belize through the Ministry of National Security and the Police Department to address the recurrent crime situation which is plaguing the city and nation at this time. Everything from enacting new legislation to administrative policy is being considered at this time. Pursuant to this, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Sr. Superintendent of Police Howell Gillet met with a number of authorized and licensed gun dealers in Belize. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss some of the issues related to the purchase and sale of ammunition to licensed gun holders. It is intended that in the near future ammunition will be serialized to make it easier for law enforcement personnel to identify and track the source of these ammunition.  It is a widely known fact that criminals source their ammunition from legitimate gun license holders as it is easier to get it this way.

When these criminals use these ammunition there is no way of knowing where these bullets originated from. A licensed gun holder can purchase and be in possession of 100 at any given time. There is no limit or control as to how many times he can purchase these 100 rounds. So for argument sake a person can buy 100 bullets today and sell them on the streets for a hefty profit and tomorrow go to another gun dealer, or the same one, and purchase 100 more.

The new measures being discussed and agreed upon are designed to better control the accessibility of these “illegal” ammunition to street figures who use them to commit crimes. If a bullet is serialized or marked in any particular way, there will be better control and also make it more difficult for criminals to access ammunition.

This will also complement the already existing International Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) which the National Forensic Service has been using to assist the Police in solving crimes. The Police will also start to collect “signatures” from weapons to input into the system. This means that licensed gun holders will be required to fire their weapons into a ‘bullet catcher’. The expended casing and the slug will be remitted to the National Forensic Services to be input into the IBIS data bank for future reference.

The Ministry of National Security and the Police Department are confident that when these measures are put in place we will see the bigger picture coming into focus, that is, we will see a reduction in crimes and specifically a decrease in murders. Of course they cannot discount the fact that the cooperation of the community at large is needed for this to happen. Together we will make a difference.