A Dubai Police forensics expert checks the ballistic fingerprint of an ammunition Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police, through the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, has successfully integrated its Ballistic Identification Network with Interpol’s database. This scientific achievement in forensic sciences enhances Dubai Police’s ability to compare over 1.8 million ballistic fingerprints worldwide in under an hour.

Major General Ahmad Thani Bin Ghalita, director of the forensic department, said Dubai Police is the first Arab law enforcement agency to link ballistic fingerprints with Interpol’s database. He added: “This significant milestone enhances the force’s efforts in unravelling the mysteries of crimes, identifying the type of firearm, and determining the user’s identity.”

Maj Gen Bin Ghalita explained that this integration, which came under the guidance of Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, and the follow-up from Major General Expert Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, aims to strengthen communication with international police authorities under the Ministry of Interior’s umbrella and stay current with all forensic science disciplines, including ballistic fingerprints.

“This science plays a crucial role in providing material evidence to police authorities to support ongoing investigations and achieve justice.”

How it works

Captain Engineer Mohammed Abdullah Al Shamsi, Head of Firearms and Tool Marks at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, said the ballistic fingerprint database helps determine if a firearm has been used in other crimes. Comparisons are made with civilian firearms, shooting clubs, police institutions, and samples collected from other crime scenes, thus aiding in identifying the perpetrator.

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Capt Al Shamsi added that the Ballistic Identification Network could solve criminal cases by linking unknown bullets and blank cartridges to determine if they came from one or more specific firearms. He emphasised that linking Dubai Police’s Ballistic Identification Network with Interpol will enable comparisons with over 1.8 million fingerprints worldwide while maintaining privacy.

“The system doesn’t permit users to browse other databases; it only displays matching results with the reference numbers of institutions that input the data so that police agencies can communicate and coordinate with each other to follow up on their investigative procedures according to internationally approved policies and regulations in this regard,” he said.