UNLIREC provides technical assistance on standard operating procedures for Forensic Ballistics in the Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis

From 14 to 18 of March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of the Bahamas and the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, held a series of hands-on forensic ballistics training exercises in Nassau and Basseterre. 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 firearms examiners from the Royal Bahamas Police Force and officials from the Royal St Kitts and Nevis Police Force to gain in-depth knowledge on specific UNLIREC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), such as bullet damaged items, forensic examination of firearms, comparison microscopy, open case file, and range of fire (shot pattern determination). The activities also included a series of practical exercises, including comparing cartridge cases and bullets using a comparison microscope, and assembling an open case file and determining range of fire with bulleted cartridge firearms and shot guns. 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 the Bahamas and the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, 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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