Forensics lab gets a boost with handing over of Bullettrax 3D system

The ballistics capacity of the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine (IFSLM) today received a boost with the handing over of an IBIS Bullettrax 3D system.

The Bullettrax system, sponsored by the Canadian government and managed by the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), is to assist the Forensics Institute in capturing digital images from the surface of bullets, matching images in a database with other bullets and in the collecting of ballistic information from ammunition.

The handing over of the Bullettrax system follows on recent investments of US$146,000 worth of new equipment and an additional J$179 million earmarked for additional equipment and training for the Forensics Institute.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Minister of National Security, Robert Montague stated that this was a big step towards drying up the supply of illicit firearms in the island. “A big part of the effort to stem the flow of illegal guns is in building our forensic and ballistic capabilities. We are in the age of technology and Jamaica is fully committed to the strategic use of science and technology in this fight to create a safer and prosperous Jamaica,” Minister Montague said.

The Bullettrax system will assist the Ministry in the execution of its five pillar crime management plan, especially as it relates to, Swift and Sure Justice.
Minister Montague explained that the equipment will go a far way in enabling the Institute to execute its functions effectively. “This piece of equipment will play a vital role in citizen safety and will significantly improve the operational forensic ballistic capability of the IFSLM, particularly with respect to ballistic investigations for criminal trial proceedings. This enhanced capability will support Jamaica’s Criminal Justice System, as well as that of our regional counterparts, which also benefit from the wide range of services that are provided by the IFSLM.”

Director of the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, Dr. Judith Mowatt, reiterated, “Every gun has a story to tell and a significant part of that story lies inside the gun in the form of bullet markings. With so much at stake, effective solutions are needed to exploit this key information from gun related crimes hence the need for this technology.”

In expressing his support for improving Jamaica’s citizen security and justice infrastructure, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Sylvain Fabi stated, “Today represents a more visible and tangible manifestation of the work that we have been doing. This is being done through the project, ‘Bolstering Forensic Ballistic Capabilities in the Caribbean’, in order to combat illicit firearm trafficking and gun crimes as we seek to improve the quality and capacity of ballistics analysis across the Caribbean.”

UNLIREC Representative, Amanda Cowl further expressed, “It is indeed a pleasure for UNLIREC to contribute to the efforts of the Jamaican Government to create a safer Jamaica and safer Caribbean.” Staff at the Forensics Institute will also receive
further training from UNLIREC in firearm procedures to build their competency levels.

Minister Montague also used the opportunity to again warn criminals and those contemplating criminal actions that their time is up, “We the law-abiding citizens of Jamaica are resolute in our commitment to rid this country of the scourge of crime and violence, we know that good always conquers evil.”

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