UNLIREC continues forensic ballistics assistance in the Dominican Republic

From 16 to 20 November 2015, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) carried out, in collaboration with the Government of the Dominican Republic, a three-day training course on firearms forensic ballistic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and a seminar on ballistic information exchange. This represents the second set of activities implemented by UNLIREC in the Dominican Republic as part of its Operational Forensic Ballistics (OFB) project for Caribbean States.

The three-day training course on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in forensic ballistics enabled 23 participants, including forensic experts, firearms examiners, ballistic technicians and crime scenes analysts to increase their knowledge on topics such as validation of methods and calibration of equipment; examination of firearms, their parts and components; examination of ammunition; ammunition replica double-casting; and range of fire determination. For each SOP, participants demonstrated their acquired knowledge through practical exercises supervised by a firearms expert.

The seminar highlighted the importance of sharing information and coordination among actors engaged in criminal firearms investigations. The 14 participants included representatives of the forensic and police laboratories, relevant government ministries and academia. At the seminar, UNLIREC staff provided a review of information sharing strategies and best practices. Participants identified existing challenges and opportunities for cooperation.

This initiative is part of the UNLIREC Caribbean Operational Forensic Ballistics Assistance Package, which is made possible thanks to the support of the United States and Canada.

UNLIREC, as the regional centre of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to supporting Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, including the 2001 UN Programme of Action on the illicit trade in 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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