Bullet Trajectory Analysis

Laser scanning equipment can help to trace the path of a bullet, proving the shooter’s position or intent. This technique has been used successfully in court.

Bullet Trajectory Analysis

CRIME-SCENE APPLICATIONS OF 3D SCANNING TECHNOLOGY

Laser scanning equipment can help to trace the path of a bullet, proving the shooter’s position or intent. This technique has been used successfully in court.

West Yorkshire Police was one of the first police forces in the world to stitch together CCTV footage with 3D measurements taken using a laser scanner.

In the 2011 Birmingham riots, 41 masked and hooded men set fire to a pub to lure police. Shots were fired, but the suspects claimed they had been shooting into the air. By taking 3D measurements based on two bullet holes – through a window and a wall – it was possible to trace back to the shooter’s position, a 1m2 patch of ground. CCTV footage then identified a single suspect who had been standing there at that exact time.

Combining the 3D measurements with the CCTV footage of police vans showed that the bullet had missed an officer’s head by just three feet. A ballistics expert said that a trajectory of just 1.2° lower would have resulted in a head-shot to the officer – and 1.2° could result from simply pulling the trigger. The court accepted intent to kill, and a conviction was secured.

What are the benefits?

  • Removes risk and ambiguity
  • Faster results with greater accuracy
  • Ability to recreate the scene from data captured long after the event
  • More reliable evidence for use in court
  • Detailed Verification
  • Simple-to-Use

 

“What might once have been impossible, or have taken ages to piece together using 2D photos, measuring tapes and a lot of maths (with a big risk of human error) can now be done very quickly and accurately.”
Mike Skicko, forensics lead at Leica Geosystems UK

Talk to us here at Leica Geosystems about this and other applications which take you from scene to screen and then into the courtroom.

Mark Francis
mark.francis@leica-geosystems.com
07500 112071

Cesar Almeida
cesar.almeida@leica-geosystems.com
07469 855197

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