File is not found

Workshop to discuss the establishment of an Integrated Firearms Centre in Trinidad and Tobago

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 7 March 2023. UNODC’s Firearms Trafficking Section, in close cooperation with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, organised a workshop to discuss the establishment of an Integrated Firearms Centre (IFC).
The workshop was opened by Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of National Security, who highlighted the need to combat the illicit movement of firearms locally and regionally. “People in our region are bleeding by the hour”, highlighted the Minister and referred to the crime and violence situation in the Caribbean as “a pandemic”, recognising that the Government has a responsibility to act and protect its citizens.
UNODC representatives highlighted the impact that firearms-related crimes also have beyond public safety, having devastating effects on communities, families and development, disproportionally affecting the most vulnerable individuals. UNODC also stressed the need for effective investigations that bring to justice those ultimately responsible for firearms trafficking; hence the importance of ensuring adequate information exchange and cooperation between all the relevant institutions with access to firearms-related data, both at national and international levels. The proposed Integrated Firearms Centre would help to foster inter-agency cooperation and facilitate more successful investigations and prosecutions, ensure accountability.
The workshop was attended by 10 experts (with equal representation among men and women) of relevant national agencies, including Trinidad and Tobago Police Services (Armoury, Crime and Problem Analysis Branch, Firearms Permit Unit, INTERPOL, and Special Evidence Recovery Unit), Coastguards (TTDF), Customs and Excise Division and the Forensic Science Centre. It took an interactive format, combining presentations by UNODC Global Firearms Programme, CARICOM IMPACS and UK’s National Ballistics Intelligence Service, with lively debates on the feasibility of establishing an IFC in Trinidad and Tobago, possible roles and integrating institutions, as well as a proposed way forward.
This activity was a continuation of the Virtual Regional Workshop on Integrated Firearms Centres in the Caribbean which UNODC Firearms Trafficking Section organised with CARICOM IMPACS on 25-26 June 2022, where Trinidad and Tobago expressed its interest in this initiative, along with its solid commitment to tackle illicit firearms trafficking and related crimes.
UNODC Firearms Trafficking Section’s support to Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen its criminal justice response to illicit firearms criminality is aligned with the national efforts to implement the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap. The workshop was possible thanks to the financial support of Germany and the expertise of UNODC Firearms Trafficking Section, in the framework of the project “Supporting the implementation of the criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”.