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Trinidad and Tobago
Source
: National Report on the Implementation of the PoA and the ITI, 2010 and 2008 
Date
: 06/05/2011
National Report
: 2010
 
Contact
: Strategic Services Agency
Email
: sharris@ssa.gov.tt
 
 
 
 


National laws, regulations and administrative procedures:

Firearms Act 16:01. Regulations and administrative procedures are already in place to ensure the effective implementation of the International Tracing Instrument (ITI). Section 21 (b) of the Firearms Act provides for the marking of all firearms for the purpose of identification and tracing of small arms and light weapons.

 

 
 
 


National Marking Practices:

Trinidad and Tobago is not a manufacturer of firearms; manufacture is prohibited by the Firearms Act.

Marking at the time of import:

Marking of SALW in the possession of government armed and security forces:


Measures against the removal or alteration of markings:

A 2007 study commissioned by the Ministry of National Security accorded top priority to firearms examinations by the Forensic Science Centre to faciliatate the timely raising and retrieval of serial numbers that have been obliterated.

 
 
 


Accurate and comprehensive records for all marked SALW within their territory:

Measures have been taken to ensure that accurate and comprehensiv records are established for all marked SALW within the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago. The setting up of a national computerised database and recordkeeping system is well advanced. During this transitional period current manual records for tracking and monitoring are being retained for the statutory 5 year period and records on the importation of firearms are being retained for the statutory 14 year period. Advancing the emphasis on marking, tracing and database management, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TIPS), in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Sciences Centre (TIFSC), has been working on developing and implementing a National Tracing Mechanism in the form of a computerized database of all legally owned firearms. The process which began in 2007 is well advanced with the implementation of a mechanism to ensure that not only weapons procured for the armed forces are entered into the database but also those purchased by private security firms and authorized civilians. This Process, which originates within the TIPS, involves the recording of every firearm's unique serial number and is supported by the TIFSC by way of ballistic test firing. In this way every firearm that has been entered into the database to date has also been test fired and that information captured within the IBIS database at the TIFSC. It is envisioned that when completed, the database along with the accompanying IBIS information, will assist authorities to determine if and when, firearms obtained legally, are used to facilitate criminal activities.

 
 
 


Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests
:

In 2007, a scoping study was commissioned by the Ministry of National Security in order to assess the extent to which the Trinidad and Tobago Police was successful in tracing retrieving firearms and to what extent these tracing results were promoting the law enforcement effort. The rationale for this project was that efforts on the part of the government to reduce the prevalence of the illegal circulation and use of firearms would be more effective if they were based on an accurate understanding of the problem. The study recommended the creation of a standardised tracing procedure, the establishment of an appropriately staffed and equipped national fusion centre and the development of a partnership with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for the purpose of gaining e Trace capabilities: a paperless firearm trace submission system and trace analysis computer module readily accessible via the internet. This application would provide the necessray facilities for submitting, retrieving, storing and querying information related to firearms relative to particular jurisdictions, allowing for the systematic tracing of firearms from crime scenes.

Operational Informaton Exchange:

Strengthening the aforementioned mechanism is the use by local law enforcement agencies of the international E-Tracing instrument, an instrument which was formally implemented and incorporated in 2009. Through an inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding ratified in 2009 by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, an agreement was reached between the TIPS and the United States Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agency (ATF, Department of Justice) to facilitate the use of the latter's E-Tracing instrument. This agreement includes access with US gun tracing databases and training of various stakeholders of the National Security Community in this field of activity. This instrument would allow local authorities to determine the possible origins of firearms used in local criminal activities and possibly assist investigators in determining how illegal guns are entering the borders of Trinidad and Tobagoo It is hoped that local and bilateral efforts would help to more effectively track and seize firearms through the use of technologies that would synergize the efforts of the law enforcement, intelligence and scientific communities. Trinidad and Tobago cooperates within the framework of CARICOM and has also strengthened bilateral relations with several members of the Latin American Caribbean Group (GRULAC), through cooperation agreements which facilitate permanent institutional communications channels between competent authorities, periodic exchanges of investigative or intelligence information, joint task forces and the sharing, maintenance and updating of common databases. At an institutional level relevant regional authorities are in the process of developing a CARICOM Regional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (RIBIN).

Needs and Request for Assistance::

Implementation challenges and opportunities: