On 4 and 5 June 2020 respectively, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, conducted a second round of basic training on comparison microscopy for forensic ballistics and on an introduction to forensic ballistics for crime scene investigators.
These events sought to improve casework management by reviewing and developing streamlined work processes, case allocation protocols and a National Action Plan (NAP) to manage unprocessed ballistics casework in Trinidad and Tobago. The NAP aims to build capacity in both the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and Forensic Science Centre (TTFSC) by providing introductory training in ballistics for police officers and further integrate the Firearms Technicians at the Firearms Section by building capacity in comparison microscopy.
On 4 June, introductory training and awareness of operational forensic ballistics for police armourers and police officials assigned to the Special Evidence Recovery Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service was delivered remotely to ten participants. The aim of this course was to provide participants, all of whom are new to the discipline, with an understanding of Operational Forensic Ballistics, UNLIREC SOPs on the Collection and Collation of Crime Scene Evidence, Firearms Safety during Forensic Processes and Test Firing Procedures.
Whilst the first round of the basic training on comparison microscopy to firearm technicians at the TTFSC was delivered in person, round two was delivered virtually due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Four firearm technicians and one police armourer participated in the June 5 online training. This entailed an overview of the fundamentals of comparison microscopy and its role in the providing evidence and intelligence to the criminal justice system, the organization and importance of Open Case Files, latest developments and experiences of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) and the fundamentals of class mark databases.
For one week prior to the live online sessions, participants engaged in self-based learning through access to UNLIREC developed pre-recorded materials on the CBSI Connect learning management system.
The Introduction to Forensic Ballistics and Comparison Microscopy training along with CBSI Connect were 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.