UNLIREC and Barbados continue joint efforts to increase capacity in forensic ballistics investigations

From 4 to 8 of April, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of Barbados carried out a series of hands-on forensic ballistics training exercises in Bridgetown. These exercises represent the second round of assistance held under the framework of UNLIREC’s Caribbean Operational Forensic Ballistics Assistance Package, which is made possible thanks to the support of the US Department of State and the Government of Canada.

The training exercises enabled five firearms examiners from the Royal Barbados Police Force to gain in-depth knowledge on specific UNLIREC Standard Operating Procedures, such as forensic examination of firearms, comparison microscopy, validation of scientific methods, recording and reporting of forensic evidence and health and safety during forensic processes. The activities also included a series of practical exercises comparing cartridge cases and bullets using a comparison microscope as well as reviewing possible validation and calibration protocols. The exercises provided participants with the opportunity to exchange best practices, discuss challenges faced in the field as well as practice new methods and technology in order to build more substantial cases and solid evidence.

For the third round of project assistance to the Government of Barbados, UNLIREC will be promoting the implementation of a series of collaborative exercises derived from forensic ballistic SOPs as a tool for determining staff competencies in key functional areas.

UNLIREC, as the regional organ of the UN Office for Disarmament, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.

For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org). Please direct all questions or inquiries to Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer (cowl@unlirec.org).

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