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Aug 9, 2018

National Forensic Science Service gets Containerized Test Fire Range

An eighty-thousand-dollar Containerized Test Fire Range was today handed over to the National Forensic Science Service. The donation comes courtesy of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2008 U.N. LIREC undertook a technical mission to Belize to provide training and assistance in the area of operational forensic ballistics. Since then, the National Forensic Science Service has received several pieces of equipment including the Integrated Ballistics Information System. The donation of the Containerized Test Fire Range forms part of agency’s mission in Belize. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out today how this new piece of equipment will help in fighting firearm-related crimes.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

From the exterior, it might look like an ordinary storage container but if you take a peep inside, tens of thousands of dollars worth of state of the art equipment is being housed in what is called a Containerized Test Fire Range. It’s an eighty-thousand-dollar gift which was handed to the National Forensic Science Service from UN-LIREC, an arm of the UN aimed at combating illicit firearm and ammunition in the Caribbean through Operational Forensic Ballistics.

 

Gian Cho

Gian Cho, Executive Director, National Forensic Science Service

“Our firearms examiners will no longer utilize the previous space which was retrofitted as a test firing room but instead will immediately start using the self-contained ballistically secure and soundproof test fire range for their daily work in the forensic ballistic examination.”

 

The Containerized Test Fire Range will allow ballistic examiners to be more efficient and safer in a ballistically secured facility.

 

Philip Boyce

Philip Boyce, Ballistic Advisor, UNLIREC

 

 

“The different elements are effectively the containers completely ballistic lined with ballistic steel and soundproof. The backstop is ballistic blocks which will stop anything up to seven, six two by fifty-one millimeter safely. So there is no risk of any ricochets or anything like that.”

 

Firearm-related crime is on the increase and this new equipment is expected to strengthen the skills of forensic ballistics experts in order to successfully complement the justice system’s ability to resolve these crimes.

 

Quinnelle-Marie Kangalee

Quinnelle-Marie Kangalee, Project Advisor, UNLIREC

“In terms of the use of the range, this will allow the forensic ballistic expert to have a ballistic secured facility which is in line of health and safety standards. So they will be able to carry out test firing of weapons and function testing of weapons within the facility which improves the area that they would have been previously using. This would allow them to, therefore, carry out their test towards having proper evidence for court.”

 

Minister of State for National Security, Elodio Aragon Junior, says this is a huge leap for the department, a leap that will help investigators to successfully prosecute criminals.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State for National Security

“Our biggest problem in the city and in this country has to do with the use of firearms. The National Forensic Science Service has to come to par in terms of dealing with the forensic aspect of ballistic and firearms. This is a compliment to what we have. I think it goes towards working with the big picture that we need to have at the end of the day in terms that it is not only about the equipment. You have to look at the personnel that we have the training that they receive and everything that they do in terms of ensuring we do a better job in dealing with firearms and ammunition for the forensic part that at the end of the day will go towards a greater prosecution in case where there is the use of a firearm.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“So, Sir how do you respond to the criticism that you have all these equipment but the conviction rate is quite low especially in crimes committed with firearms.”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.,

“Well you know there is a lot of work that has to be done. Rome wasn’t built in one day. But we have to start somewhere and I think we start a long way. If you know the history in terms of the National Forensic and Science Service and where all the ballistic is. We have really come a long way. If you would take time to really look and see what happens in terms how they recover a shell from the scene and what is done and all of these things. This helps a lot in terms of assisting the National Forensic and Science Services in doing these studies.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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