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UNLIREC refurbishes indoor shooting range at the Forensic Science Centre in Trinidad and Tobago

From 25 – 29 October, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Forensics Science Centre and Energy Containment Concepts of England (ECC), completed the refurbishment of the Indoor Shooting Range at the Forensic Science Centre in Trinidad and Tobago

In 2016, UNLIREC conducted a Technical Assessment of the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre Forensic Ballistics Capabilities and Future Requirements of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The findings of the assessment included a firing range that is currently in use and which should be refurbished, replacing, inter alia, back-stop curtains, air extraction unit filters and the acoustic damping foam. At the time, the shooting range had been extensively used since 1987 and had never been refurbished, posing a health and safety concern.

UNLIREC engaged an internationally recognised leader in the installation of Firearm Ranges to supply materials and refurbish the existing facility. This included new acoustic surfacing panels designed to reduce and absorb reflected sound on the perimeter walls, non-skid anti-ricochet rubber mats on the floor, anti-ricochet ballistic tiles to slow the speed of fired projectiles on the walls and new backstop curtains and lamellas capable of withstanding up to 5000 shots before replacement and control bullet debris.

 The refurbishment project and the new facility would significantly reduce health and safety concerns, boost the morale and efficiency of the Forensic Firearms Examiners, and improve the Forensic Science Centre's forensic ballistic capacity. 

The refurbishment of the indoor shooting range at the forensic science centre is one of a range of activities provided to Trinidad and Tobago under the Operational Forensic Ballistic assistance package sponsored by Canada and the US. Other assistance to Trinidad and Tobago included a Shooting Incident Reconstruction Course, Equipment and training in the creation of double casts of bullets and cartridge cases, provision of forensic ballistic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the development of Collaborative Exercises to prepare firearm examiners for proficiency testing. In 2018 UNLIREC would, in collaboration with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, deliver a specialised Evidence Management Course to various national authorities.

 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.