The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) is responsible for reducing the amount of weapons and armed violence in the region, while assisting nations to achieve guaranteed citizen security. UNLIREC has worked with the Belize Police Department, the Belize Defence Force, and the Prosecution Branch to achieve this objective. Today, UNLIREC donated a Containerized Test Fire Range to the National Forensic Science Service (NFSS). Quinnelle-Marle Kangalee, the Advisor for the Public Security Programme noted that the test firing range will improve the forensic ballistic capacity and help to combat crime.
Quinnelle-Markle Kanglee Advisor Public Security Programme UNLIREC: As you were aware; with the growth of firearm related offenses it is vital to strengthen the skills of forensic ballistic practitioners and provide them with the requisite technology and equipment to enable them to better support the justice system’s ability to resolve firearm related cases and reduce them in the community. I would like to take a moment to highlight the importance of ballistic information sharing and double casting . Double casting which is the replication of bullets and cartridges cases allows for the sharing of ballistic information both nationally between security sector agencies and internationally across jurisdictions. The forensic analyst in the ballistic section continued to strive towards enhancing the intelligence output of the lab and providing timely and valuable investigative leads. Most recently as a result of UNLIREC double cast training Belize was able to share ballistic information with the neighboring country Guatemala
Elodio Aragon Jr., the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, said that the equipment will improve the efficiency of the National Forensic Science Service.
Elodio Aragon Jr. – Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security: It’s all a matter of safety and ensuring that we begin to incorporate the standing operating procedures that are necessary that will be able to stand the test in court and also in what the National Forensic Service does here and I think it goes along way in complementing the other equipment that we have. I think you have all seen the other equipment that we have had: The ballistic equipment etc. but this goes towards ensuring we have a very holistic, a very good complete system to improve upon what we are doing right now in terms of dealing with firearms and ammunition here at the National Forensics Service. If you know the history in terms of the National Forensic Service and where all the entire forensics in terms of ballistic is, I mean we have really come along way and it’s only a matter of time if you would take time to really look and see what happens in terms of how they recover a shell from the scene. What is done and all of these things; his helps a lot in terms of assisting the National forensic and science service in doing these studies.
Kangalee noted that the Containerized Test Fire Range brings to an end UNLIREC ballistics assistance to Belize. The Containerized Test Fire Range cost approximately eighty-five thousand US dollars.