Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 26, 2018 (RSCNPF): Close to 30 Police Officers from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the Royal Barbados Police Force recently received special training in firearms and ammunition evidence management. The training lasted three days and was held at the Police Training Complex from March 21-23, 2018.
It was hosted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and was funded by the Government of the United States of America. It is being conducted in territories across the Caribbean.
The course highlighted the importance of firearms and ammunition found at the investigation site as an important source of information. It covered areas such as firearms and ammunition identification; evidence management; handling firearms and ammunition collected from a crime scene; designing a forensic strategy; as well as intelligence and investigation tools. It also included an overview of the national legal framework as it relates to firearms and ammunition as evidence which was done by Crown Counsel Teshaun Vasquez. The participants were also required to take part in a practical field exercise which was held on the compound. The course was facilitated by Technical Advisors, Mark Mastaglio and Ana Pamela Romero.
Project Adviser and Course Organiser, Quinnelle-Marie Kangalee noted that the region was considered a transshipment area for firearms and ammunition.
“As a result of this, we have this unfortunate proliferation of firearms and it is causing a serious impact on armed violence in our societies and we are trying to implement these courses to assist in combating the armed violence and the impunities that we have been seeing,” said Ms. Kangalee.
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. The recently held training forms part of the Operational Forensic Ballistics Package which is being offered to Caribbean States.