From 21-25 October 2019, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of Barbados, carried out its ninth edition of Interdicting Small Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components (ISAAPC) Course in the region. This training course forms part of the ‘Combating Illicit Firearms and Ammunition Trafficking in the Caribbean through Operational Forensic Ballistics’ (OFB) project.

The aim of this five-day course is to support Latin American and Caribbean States efforts to mitigate and prevent the diversion and illicit trafficking of firearms, ammunition, parts and components through postal shipments, parcels and baggage by providing specialized x-ray identification training.

The course is aimed at X-ray screening operators and support personnel with responsibilities in control and inspection at points of entry, exit and transit as well as other security check points. Thirty-three (33) screening operators and officials from Barbados Prison Service, Barbados Postal Service, G4S Secure Solutions Barbados, Barbados Customs and Excise, Barbados Port Incorporated and Royal Barbados Police Force attended the course.

Through a theoretical and practical methodology, participants received specialized training on technical specifications of small arms, their parts, components, ammunition and explosives as well as on elements related to the interpretation of X-ray images that may suggest the presence of a threat. In addition, participants had access to a training platform developed by the Center for Adaptive Security Research and Applications (CASRA), which contains a repository of images developed by UNLIREC. The course also included a series of simulations of concealment methods and practical exercises aimed at boost operator’s capacities to identify and detect positive threats when performing their roles and duties.

Participants stressed the importance of having specialized and continuous training, as well as the added value of this course to improve their detection capacities and interdiction practices in support of the prevention and combat of illicit trafficking of small arms, ammunition, parts and components in the country.

The implementation of this course is possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the United States of America.