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Better strategy needed for illegal arms

Monday, August 18, 2014

That there is a need to investigate the disappearance of 40 guns from the Forensic Science Centre in St James should be a source of clear and unequivocal shame for the Police Service. Last Monday, the Police Service’s public information officer, Inspector Wayne Mystar, announced that 40 guns, some of them high-powered rifles, were stolen some time between last year and July after being taken to the centre for ballistic testing. 

It’s simply not good enough for acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to state last Tuesday that the police were concerned about the missing guns. Even Mr Williams’s very personal declaration that the incident is a "major concern,” falls far short of the kind of response that the incident should spark within the service.

Given the enormous investment in manpower and investigative resources that are invested in finding even a single weapon, it should have been clear that captured weapons should be both properly secured and made inoperable. Where is the commitment to ensure that forensic analysis of weapons will be expedited after seizure? How difficult is it to fire a test bullet or two through a gun to capture its rifling signature?