NABIS Gets A New Boss

13th March 2019

The Head of Unit for the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) is retiring this month, after 30 years' service as a police officer.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Chilton spent her entire service at West Midlands Police before joining NABIS in December 2014.

She started her career in Sandwell in 1989 and has risen through the ranks, spending time in both uniformed and CID roles and helping to set up the force's Guns & Organised Crime unit (now the Serious & Organised Crime Unit).

Det Ch Supt Chilton said: "Over the years I have had the pleasure to work with many outstanding people, within the police, statutory agencies, the third sector and in communities. It's only by working in partnership that we can make a difference to prevent and detect crime, protect the most vulnerable in our communities and bring offenders to justice.

"I am a passionate believer in partnership work; I first saw the true benefit of partnership work when I joined the Child Protection Unit in 1992. The lessons I learnt there have stayed with me throughout my service.

"I leave NABIS with a new business model, uplift in the annual budget and additional staff to deliver the new model. I know that I leave NABIS in good hands with Jo Clews who will develop the new approach. I wish Jo and the NABIS team all the best for the future.

"The next few months will be busy with DIY projects and trying a variety of craft workshops that I have never had the time to do. I may look for some voluntary work later in the year but have nothing planned at this stage.

"I have been fortunate to work with some excellent people over the years and I've had great support from mentors, family and friends who have helped develop my knowledge and skills. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all."

During her time with NABIS, Det Ch Supt Chilton and her team have worked closely with police forces, other law enforcement agencies and organisations such as the Home Office to tackle gun crime and deliver key intelligence information, as well as advising on possible legislation changes to reduce the criminal use of firearms.

The new NABIS Head of Unit is Det Ch Supt Jo Clews (pictured). She is also seconded from West Midlands Police. She has 25 years policing experience with West Midlands Police, serving in both uniform and CID roles across Birmingham and the Black Country.

She added: "I am delighted to be joining NABIS and look forward to the new challenge. Even though gun crime levels are low compared to Europe and the United States, we can never be complacent about illegal firearms. The public expect to feel safe and we will continue to work hard with police forces and other organisations to achieve that."

NABIS was set up in 2008 and has forensic labs in Birmingham and Manchester. The ballistics experts examine material and firearms connected to crime and prepare reports for investigating police officers. The NABIS Intelligence Cell also monitor illegal guns and trace weapons, as well as advising forces as to the current national firearms threat and any trends or emerging issues they need to be aware of.

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