From 5 – 9 June, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), together with ARQUEBUS Solutions Ltd, delivered its second Double Cast training and consequent donation of equipment in the Bahamas.
Five participants, among them assistant firearms examiners and IBIS Technicians of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Scientific Support Services (SSS), participated in the training. Participants were trained on INTERPOL’s Double Casting methodology.
Double casting increases the ability of national authorities to make connections between crime and crime scenes, nationally, regionally and internationally. The training seeks to build capacity in the region to create microscopic replicas of projectiles and cartridge cases that can be peer reviewed and uploaded to a Ballistics Information Network and/or shared to judicial proceedings and across jurisdictions for comparison without upsetting the chain of custody or jeopardizing the original evidence.
Double Casting is a two step-process that requires a silicone mould to be made of the fired bullet or cartridge case and then making a resin cast using the mould created. Ballistic projectiles are mounted in a secured cup or mould box before pouring the silicone to make the mould. The moulds are then placed in a vacuum degassing chamber to remove air bubbles, taken out of the chamber, and cured for 15 hours. The cured mould is then removed from the cup or box and the specimen extracted. Next, the silicone mould is filled with casting resin, pressurized in a pressure pot, removed and the cured resin cast demoulded. The resin bullet and cartridge castings are then ready for ballistics imaging or microscope examination and comparison.
Equipment used in the training, as well as consumables to conduct further double casting of cartridge cases or projectiles, were handed over to the Government the Bahamas.
Double Cast Training is part of UNLIREC’s Caribbean Operational Forensic Ballistics Assistance Package, which is made possible thanks to the support of the US Department of State and the Government of Canada.
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.