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Mar 22, 2013

Firearms and ammunition forensic training

A forensic training at Price Barracks in Ladyville culminated today with some twenty-two persons from various departments receiving certificates of participation. Forensic technicians, scientists as well as the judiciary and other specialized personnel took part in the four-day training which comes on the heels of the introduction of an Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) in October of last year. The new system promises to provide the forensic department with the tools to solve gun-related crimes and the training provided them with the theory. It is being facilitated by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). News Five was on hand for the ceremonies.


Phillip Boyce, Forensic Consultant

“I spent the last four days covering topics such as types of firearms and ammunition, how you actually examine them; how you actually examine a scene of crime and how you even go to the stage of proven continuity and basic reporting of the evidence so that you ultimately end up in court with it.”


Pat Ashworth

Pat Ashworth, British High Commissioner

“We’ve been in touch with the Belize government for quite some time about policing and judicial reform. The three areas that they asked us to concentrate on were criminal investigation, the judiciary and forensics. The problem is that you can’t rely on eyewitnesses for various reasons, it’s very difficult with confessions; so clearly it is better to catch people through modern forensics and we were able to pull this together.”


David Henderson

David Henderson, Director, National Forensic Science Service

“Firearms are being used on a daily basis and every so often you find firearm ammunition and if the persons are more aware, well trained and are able to conduct proper identification of these things, it would definitely assist our department. Getting in the new IBIS machine, they need to be more trained in it and everybody need to be much more aware of what it could do and what it can’t do.”


Phillip Boyce

Phillip Boyce

“The skills that Belize has in couple individuals is actually very high and I was quite impressed by the feedback that I got from some of them. And what I have actually hopefully done in this four days is made them realize how to take it on in the future; how to set up protocols, how to establish protocols and procedures to actually make the most out of it from the crime scene to the actual laboratory.”


The main limitation of Belize’s National Forensic Service is budget and training. And according to Henderson, follow-up training will occur with the support of the British.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Firearms and ammunition forensic training”

  1. islander says:

    This is a great step forward but Belizeans need to realize that the way they do it in CSI Miami or the movies is not the way it works.

    In order to get a match you have to first have the gun, the gun’s distinguishing marks on a bullet can be altered by simply changing the barrel, firing pin, extractor and ejector. So for less than $150 US you can beat this million dollar system.

  2. kid says:

    shut up fool, u same one comlpain but crime,yet u no di help solve it

  3. Bear says:

    Islander, that is true, guns can be altered, but even on CSI ballistics solve crimes. Let’s sue what we hasve to the maximum.

    I suggest we need a law that says:

    1. Every gun sold or imported into Belize should be ballistically tested and entered into a database before it is delivered to any user.

    2. Every licensed firearm should be ballistically tested before the license is issued.

    3. Every gun found or recovered in any crime should be ballistically tested and entered in the database.

    If those things were done, they could be compared to bullets and cartridges that have previously been recovered from crime scenes, and also to bullets and cartridges that might be recovered in future crimes.

    And it would be good experience for our forensic staff, which is going to need a lot of practice in order to improve their skills to expert levels.

  4. Bear says:

    My earlier post should have read “USE what we have,” not “sue” what we have!

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