The latest firearms-related study conducted by Australia’s criminal research centre has found organised crime groups are overwhelmingly responsible for repeat gun crimes offences. Released earlier this week, the report found no less than 76 per cent of firearm incidents that drew upon ballistics evidence were traced back to organised crime groups, serving a worrying reminder to authorities about the real causes of gun-related crime.
Conducted by researchers at the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) the study looked at the use of ballistics evidence to aid in solving crimes. Ballistics evidence refers to ballistics material (usually bullets) recovered from crime scenes, which is then used to match a firearm that has been profiled and entered into the national database, the Australian Ballistics Information Network (ABIN). Previous investigations by the SSAA-LA found the cost of the ABIN to be $5.6 million.
The report Impact of ballistic evidence on criminal investigations specifically noted: “An important aim of the ABIN was to help establish a national picture of the criminal use of firearms in Australia and the associated organised crime groups that use them.” The report also noted multiple incidents involving the same firearm is a rare event, further stating: “These findings suggest organised crime groups play a significant role in cases of firearm-related crime in Australia where firearms are used in multiple incidents.”
While the SSAA has critiqued ballistics databases following studies that showed the costly American version rarely helped investigators solve a crime, let alone secure a prosecution, the ABIN has proven our long-held concerns - that organised crime groups are overwhelming responsible for firearm-related crime in Australia.