Local law enforcement officers hone skills in combating illegal firearms trafficking

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 20TH 2012(CUOPM) – Two local law enforcement officers are among Caribbean colleagues attending a 10-day training course on combating illicit firearms trafficking.

Police Officer Sgt. Macky Smith of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and Sgt. Marvin Payne of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force are in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad attending the sessions organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

UNLIREC said the regional Inter-Institutional Training Course on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives (IITC) will train more than 50 security sector and law enforcement officers from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The participants, who are security sector officers of the Caribbean Region will learn interactive firearms investigation techniques, technical aspects of weapons and ammunition identification, intelligence gathering and crime scene management, tracing and preparation of evidence in criminal proceedings, as well as practical disarmament measures such as weapons destruction and stockpile management.

The course also covers cross-cutting issues related to the use of force, gender awareness and child protection. The sub-regional course will introduce new issues, such as maritime security, container search and identification of armed individuals.

Since 2004, UNLIREC has trained over 3,000 law enforcement officers in Latin America and the Caribbean, strengthening the capacities of States in the region to address the problem of the proliferation of and trafficking in illicit firearms.

This training course is part of UNLIREC’s Firearms Assistance Package to Caribbean States, which began in 2010, with the financial support of Canada and the United States.

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