William R. King & William Wells (2015) Impediments to the Effective Use of Ballistics Imaging Information In Criminal Investigations: Lessons from the Use of IBIS in a Developing Nation, Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal, 6:1-2, 47-57, DOI: 10.1080/19409044.2015.1051673
ABSTRACT: We use a case study approach to explore the facilitators and impediments to effectively using forensics ballistics imaging technology to improve police investigations in a developing country. The study site, Trinidad and Tobago, a nation located in the Caribbean basin, was experiencing a homicide epidemic during the time of this study. The homicide epidemic involved the repeated use of a limited number of firearms, conditions that are ideal for ballistics imaging technology. This nation also possessed a professionalized forensic crime lab and advanced ballistic imaging technology. The analysis reveals that the effective use of ballistics imaging was impeded by inefficient processes and backlogs at the national crime lab, time delays in identifying ballistics hits, and an inefficient system of transmitting hit reports to police investigators. In sum, organizational arrangements in the forensic crime lab and police in the focal country blunted the effectiveness of a proven forensic technology.