UNODC and Tunisian law enforcement boost crime scene and forensics’ investigation

Salammbô, Tunisia - 25 March 2021 

Every crime scene, including acts of terrorism, offers clues pointing to how it was carried out and by whom. Establishing this criminal responsibility requires that evidence be carefully identified, preserved, and analyzed. The coordinated actions of investigators and other authorities are crucial in conducting a successful investigation to ensure adjudication of cases to the court with the purpose of holding criminals accountable.  

Tunisia, having suffered from several terrorist attacks, has prioritized building the capacities and expertise of its law enforcement officers to manage terrorism crime scenes more effectively. 

To support these objectives, UNODC delivered, as part of a series, new practical training on crime scene management and forensic investigation at the Tunisian National Police Academy Salammbô. The event was organized in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of Tunisia, CT MENA (European Union) as well as national institutions and brought together 19 law enforcement officers from forensic police, civil protection, and counterterrorism units.  

The five-days operational training consisted of a Tabletop Exercise, in which participants were assigned emergency management roles and responsibilities to discuss various simulated emergency situations. This was followed by a Live Exercise (LIVEX) simulating an attack and related crime scene. Participants practiced as either “coaches” or “players” and had the opportunity to discuss, contribute and exchange experiences, especially on coordination and communication in case of post-blast crime scenes. 

This activity, delivered by experts from UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch and Regional Forensic Programme, prepared participants for a larger, more complex LIVEX scheduled for September 2021. 

The training was conducted under the framework of the EU-funded UNODC regional project to strengthen criminal justice measures against foreign terrorist fighters in the Middle East, North Africa, and South-Eastern Europe (2015-2021). It was organized within the joint programme “LIVEX Tunisia 2021” led by UNODC, CT MENA (European Union), and the United-Kingdom Embassy (“Protect & Prepare” project).