From 21 July – 3 August 2019, 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, continued its ongoing in-situ field training for firearm technicians by assessing the current practices vis-à-vis crime gun intelligence management or ‘ballistics’ intelligence in the country.

This initiative forms part of UNLIREC’s programme aimed at Combatting Illicit Firearms and Ammunition Trafficking in the Caribbean through Operational Forensic Ballistics and at providing States with more in-depth forensic ballistic training. In the case of the Bahamas, six firearms technicians from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Scientific Support Services y Firearms Section are participating in an 11-month intense training programme which, upon successful completion, would lead to them becoming firearm examiners/reporting officers within the framework of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

During this two-week field visit, written and practical assessments were administered, which sought to evaluate knowledge gained and to identify areas in which additional training is needed. Participants were assessed with respect to their ability to examine fired ammunition components, perform comparative analysis of selected bullets and cartridge cases, as well as to reliably make common and different source determinations.

UNLIREC also held fact-finding meetings with a cross section of RBPF personnel to identify and discuss existing gaps in the management of the lifecycle of an illicit firearm, from the moment it is confiscated or obtained at the crime scene to the moment it appears in court and is ultimately destroyed. Current practices in the Bahamas related to crime gun intelligence management, or ‘ballistics’ intelligence, were likewise discussed in preparation for a forthcoming Inter-Institutional roundtable on enhancing firearm-related investigations.

This current assistance is made possible thanks to the support of the Government of the United States of America.

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 UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms.