UK, UN offer ballistics training

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Harriet Cross –

THE UK partnered with a UN agency to offer training in ballistics to officers of the local police and Forensic Science Centre (FSC), said a British statement on Monday.

“The British High Commission in Port of Spain has partnered with the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) to deliver targeted training to tackle firearms-related crime in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The training was a cartridge case triage course for firearms examiners.

It was delivered as British technical assistance to TT’s National Action Plan to combat the trafficking of illicit firearms and ammunition. This plan contributes to the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, a regional plan developed by UNLIREC and Caricom IMPACS against the trafficking of illicit firearms and ammunition.

Funded by the UK and delivered by UNLIREC, the event saw 22 officials from the FSC and the TTPS trained to triage recovered cartridge cases from crime scenes to prioritise for upload to the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS). This training will strengthen the investigation and prosecution of firearms-related crime by generating new investigative leads and helping to connect crimes and criminals previously considered in isolation.

Another training session was held on March 14 titled a Firearms Identification Webinar: From Crime Scene to Court Case. Some 110 members of the judiciary, Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Office of the DPP, Strategic Services Agency, TTPS, FSC, Criminal Bar and Legal Aid and Advisory Authority participated.

The training covered firearm identification, forensic firearm analysis, ballistics, and evidentiary hearings.

British High Commissioner Harriet Cross, Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, and UNLIREC senior advisor Jason Francis addressed the first training course.

Cross said the training was important. “The threat of firearms is a priority for the UK and we regularly work with international partners to disrupt the flow of illicit firearms trafficking. The UK and TT enjoy a strong security partnership. We are committed to working with the TT Government to support efforts to build capability and resilience to deal with this threat.

“The UK is incredibly proud of our collaboration with UNLIREC and TT. I want to commend TT for the progress made thus far in development of the National Action Plan and UNLIREC for its efforts both in the service of TT but also the wider region.”

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