Forensic Pathways (FP) has over 19 years’ experience developing forensic software solutions alongside law enforcement agencies. The Company has a diverse client base, has won numerous awards for innovation and holds a number of Patents. It was also a contributor to the European FP7 ODYSSEY project (ID: 218237, €3.8M), which focussed on the interpretability of ballistics systems across Europe.
Moving, forwards, Forensic Pathways and the University of Huddersfield were awarded a three-year Innovate UK grant funded project to further develop their capability surrounding ballistic identification technologies, software and correlation algorithms. LOQUITUR, FP and the University of Huddersfield (HUD) takes ballistic forensics from a qualitative discipline to a true analytical science.
The increased use of firearms in criminal and terrorist acts drives the need for development of a innovative ballistics analysis technology which enables efficient and successful prosecution of criminals by providing high quality bullet, cartridge and thus firearm matching capability at an affordable price for the police and security markets.
A National Institute of Standards and Technology – NIST (Vorburger et al in.“Topography measurements and applications in ballistics and tool mark identifications Surf Topogr. 2016 Mar;4(1)) expressed the need for a forensic ballistics technology which adopts new open data standards and thus facilitating extreme interoperability.
Three critical requirements by NIST include:
- Interoperability of ballistic data and integration into end-user intelligence platforms
- Improved correlation and statistical rigour in matching of bullets and cartridges to weapons, admissible as evidence in a court of law
- Investigational speed; generation of “fast-time” evidence-based leads to help identify offenders and illegal guns used in crimes and terrorism
Many existing forensic ballistics technologies are functionally sub-optimal and restrict the exchange of evidence between competitor systems, ultimately delaying and/or preventing the successful prosecution of criminals cross borders. LOQUTUR supports the development of a technology that produces strong evidence admissible in court and facilitate interoperability through open access data standards.
LOQUITUR Integrates state of the art knowledge and technology to provide novel matching and ranking algorithms, providing error rate reports for bullet and cartridge matches via objective scientific standards.
LOQUITUR comprises of:
- ultra-high speed algorithms for ballistic correlation
- DNA-type probability results
- Using/processing data from any ballistic system and converting image data to an open format for processing using the developed algorithms.
Developments in ballistic technology have substantial economic and social drivers: addressing the threat from organised crime and terrorism which can destabilise democratic and economic societies through money laundering, corruption, and organised gang culture. From a technological and socio-cultural standpoint by enabling production of ballistic evidence, Loquitur-FP can challenge attitudes and beliefs surrounding ballistic evidence and how its presented in a court of law.