UNLIREC holds Firearms Identification Workshop for Trinidad and Tobago

UNLIREC holds Firearms Identification Workshop for Trinidad and Tobago

On 14 March 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), delivered a Firearms Identification Workshop: From Crime Scene to Court, in Trinidad and Tobago.

The workshop, aimed at investigators, prosecutorial and public defense agencies, judicial officers, legal officers and policy personnel, showcased several approaches to firearms identification, covering topics such as firearms and ammunition identification; comparative pattern analysis; ballistic imaging; shooting reconstruction; and court testimony.

Firearm identification and examination involve the analysis of firearm-related evidence. While this typically includes comparing firearms and fired bullets and cartridge cases to determine if those bullets or cartridge cases could have been fired from the firearm, it can and usually does, involve much more. The workshop explored the examination of firearms to determine if they are functional or modified to function in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer. It also covered the restoration of serial numbers that have been obliterated from the firearms, often stolen, to prevent the tracing of the firearm which would allow law enforcement agencies to identify the last known point of possession. Another key area presented was the process of examining fired bullets or cartridge cases from a crime scene to compare them with any recovered, unfired ammunition. Shooting reconstructions are also a relatively common process that was touched upon, which provides information that can corroborate or refute various accounts of a shooting. And importantly, the use of ballistic imaging technology, which involves the imaging of fired bullets a from crime scenes to be searched against a database of like entries to determine the potential that the same firearm was used at other shooting scenes, was also explored.

One hundred and twenty officials, including seventy-four women, from the Judiciary, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Public Defenders Department, Ministry of National Security, Police Service, Forensic Science Centre, Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Strategic Services Agency and Police Complaints Authority participated in the workshop.

The Firearms Identification Workshop contributes towards the implementation of Goal 3 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, Bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse, and ammunition, and ultimately reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean. The course was made possible with the financial support of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

UNLIREC, as the regional centre 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 Programme of Action on Small Arms.

UNLIREC provides technical assessment for armouries in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada

UNLIREC provides technical assessment for armouries in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada

From 14 to 18 March 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), carried out technical assessments for government armoury facilities in Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada.

During the in-person mission, UNLIREC advisors reviewed the weapons and ammunition management practices of selected facilities, in accordance with international guidelines including the United Nations Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).This technical assistance aims to strengthen the physical security and stockpile management practices in both States, to ultimately prevent diversion of weapons and ammunition from State arsenals into illicit markets.

National authorities from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, as well as the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy facilitated site visits from 14 to 16 March, while the Royal Grenada Police Force, Special Service Unit and Her Majesty’s Prison of Grenada facilitated visits during 17 and 18 March.

With national authorities and officials from Grenada (Special Service Unit and Royal Grenada Police Force)

UNLIREC also met with government representatives to coordinate future activities in line with the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and the respective National Action Plans for each State. This assistance was made possible with the financial support of the government of Canada.

UNLIREC, as the regional office 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.

UNLIREC holds Cartridge Case Triage Course for Trinidad and Tobago

UNLIREC holds Cartridge Case Triage Course for Trinidad and Tobago

From 7 – 10 March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), delivered a Cartridge Case Triage Course in Trinidad and Tobago.

One of the critical components of a successful preventive crime gun intelligence program is comprehensive data collection of firearm-related evidence and rapid dissemination of results. The cornerstone of such a program is ballistic imaging technology. To maximize the effectiveness of such technology it is essential that fired cartridge cases from crime scenes and recovered firearms be acquired quickly with as few replicates as possible, which will dilute the database, reducing its effectiveness. A recognized process to accomplish this is to triage the multiple recovered cartridge cases for purposes of maximizing effectiveness and efficiency.

The course objective was to familiarize the participants with marking and class characteristics present on cartridge cases; assess the cartridge cases using a stereo microscope; sort the cartridge cases in sample groups of similar characteristics; and prioritize cartridge cases to be entered into the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).

Twenty-two officials, including ten women, from the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre and Police Service participated in the training. The course consisted of a theoretical presentation by UNLIREC, followed by group work to assess and sort 75 double cast cartridge case replicas, using a stereo microscope and subsequently prioritize the cartridge cases to be entered into IBIS. The participants successfully prioritized firearms to be entered into IBIS.

The Cartridge Case Triage course contributes towards the implementation of Goal 3 of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, Bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse, and ammunition, and ultimately reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean. The course was made possible thanks to support of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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.

UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS hold Executive Seminar for the Advancement Haiti’s National Action Plan for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS hold Executive Seminar for the Advancement Haiti’s National Action Plan for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

On 15 February 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the Caribbean Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS), in collaboration with the Government of Haiti, and with support of the Government of Germany, hosted a virtual Executive Seminar for the Advancement of Haiti’s National Action Plan for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

Haiti has adopted the ‘Roadmap for Implementing The Caribbean Priority Actions on the Illicit Proliferation of Firearms and Ammunition across the Caribbean in a Sustainable Manner by 2030’ (Caribbean Firearms Roadmap), which consolidates and builds upon the 2019 actions adopted by Caribbean Heads of Governments on addressing the illicit trafficking of firearms in the region.

The Roadmap serves as a base document for Haiti in the elaboration of its National Action Plan (NAP). It includes four main goals: (1) reinforce regulatory frameworks governing firearms and ammunition; (2) reduce the illicit flow of firearms and ammunition into, within and beyond the region; (3) bolster law enforcement capacity to combat illicit firearms and ammunition trafficking and their illicit possession and misuse; and (4) systematically decrease the risk of diversion of firearms and ammunition from government and non-government-owned arsenals. Each goal incorporates pre-defined actions and targets, recommended performance indicators, all in alignment with a timeline, which runs from 2020 to 2030, to coincide with the culmination of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Haiti therefore becomes the 12th State to commence concrete actions contemplated in the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap by taking steps to create its National Action Plan (NAP). A total of 18 representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministries of Justice and Public Security, Interior, Defense, Women’s Rights, Youth, Sports and Social action, National Commission for Disarmament, Dismantlement and Reinsertion, Airport Authorities, the Office de la protection du Citoyen (NHRC), Departmental delegations, with members of the German, Canadian and U.S. Embassies, and UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS participated in the NAP Executive Seminar. Participants discussed the Roadmap and steps needed to map out Haiti’s priorities, plans and timelines for implementing the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. The successful implementation of the Roadmap will require both the concerted efforts of national authorities, as well as the timely, targeted and coordinated support of regional and international partners and donors.

UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS, as the main implementing partners, will lend technical assistance in the elaboration of the NAPs and in their successive implementation. The governments of Canada, Germany, United States of America and the United Kingdom have pledged support to the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

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.

1st Annual Meeting of States to discuss advances made on Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

1st Annual Meeting of States to discuss advances made on Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

9 November 2021 – The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) hosted the 1st Annual Meeting of States to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, including the elaboration of National Action Plans (NAPs) for Roadmap implementation. Over 90 representatives from beneficiary Caribbean States, partners and the donor community participated in this online international event to take stock of the progress made to date.

The Roadmap aims to accelerate and bolster States’ efforts to prevent and combat the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons among the 15 CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic. The Roadmap serves as a guiding document for commonly agreed levels of performance at the strategic, policy and operational levels. It was developed in 2019 under the auspices of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America and formally adopted one year ago in October 2020.

The Roadmap takes into consideration the provisions found in the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN 2001 PoA), as well as the legal obligations stemming from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition (The Firearm Protocol). Its effective implementation will also contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 16, with a specific focus on Target 16.4 aimed at significantly reducing arms flow.

To date, three Caribbean States have formally adopted their NAPs, namely Grenada, Belize and Antigua and Barbuda. These Plans outline States priorities in combating the illicit trafficking in firearms and ammunition and help to track progress by serving as a monitoring and tracking tool. Remaining States are also well on their way to progressing towards formal adoption of these Action Plans and thus contributing to enhanced firearms control in the region. Close to USD$ 4 million have been invested in the region over the past two years leading to 70 activities in the implementation of the 4 Roadmap Goals.

As a lead-up to this Meeting, UNLIREC and CARICOM IMPACS – as the co-custodians and main implementing partners of the Roadmap – hosted two prior meetings in October. The first was targeted at the other implementing partners, including the UN Development Programme, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, World Customs Organization, Organization of American States, INTERPOL, and Small Arms Survey, to inform and collaborate on upcoming partner activities in support of the Roadmap. While the second was aimed at the donor community, including Germany, Canada, United States of America, European Union, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that provides essential financial support to partners in favour of beneficiary States.

For more information on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap and the progress made to date, please contact UNLIREC’s Political Affairs Officer, Amanda Cowl, at cowl@unlirec.org.