From 18-29 March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, commenced the second phase of firearm examiner training, which focuses on in-situ field visits, training on comparison microscopy for the examination of firearm and ammunition evidence, including bullets and cartridge cases.

UNLIREC’s current project on Combatting Illicit Firearms and Ammunition Trafficking in the Caribbean Through Operational Forensic Ballistics, seeks to provide States with more in-depth forensic ballistic training. In 2018, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) identified a human resource requirement to enhance the capacity of the current firearms technicians so that they may eventually become competent reporting officers, capable of signing off on forensic reports. Six technicians from the Royal Bahamas Police Force participated in this training. Topics covered included examination of fired ammunition components and comparative toolmark examinations.

During Phase 1 and 2 of the Operational Forensic Ballistic assistance package, Bahamas received support through, inter alia, training in forensic ballistic Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the development of an internal testing tool to prepare firearm examiners for proficiency testing, and firearms and ammunition evidence management. 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 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.