Ballistics tracking, harsher penalties recommended as Caribbean security & crime gets attention on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. – The chief executive officer of a Barbados based Canadian company has recommended that CARICOM member states impose harsher penalties for persons who fail to register firearms found in their possession.
Jeff Felske, head of Pyramidal Technologies has also recommended that countries in the region upgrade their forensic technologies including their forensic ballistics capability.
Speaking last Thursday (June 22nd) at the working luncheon of Caribbean Legislative Week in the US House of Representatives Felske warned that gun crimes, especially homicides would continue to rise unless urgent action is taken to deal with the rising number of unregistered firearms circulating within the region.
“Crime and homicides resulting from the use of firearms must be dealt with as matter of urgent national importance if these countries are to ensure that these do not impact their economies to the point where important sectors like tourism are not devastated and investor confidence shattered,” he told the lunch meeting which was themed “Challenges and Opportunities for the Private Sector”. Also addressing that session were Representatives Maxine Waters (D-California) and former Lieutenant Governor of Florida, Trinidadian born Jennifer Carroll.
Felske said illegal guns were being shipped into CARICOM member states from the US, Brazil, Venezuela and even the Middle East noting that the current situation in Venezuela lent itself to weapons being traded for food and other commodities. “This represents a potential danger to neighboring countries and must be addressed seriously,” he said. He quoted statistics that show the rising number of gun related homicides in some countries in the region including Jamaica where in 2016 there were 1, 352 compared to 1,207 the previous year.
He pointed to the Dominican Republic where, as a result of the harsh penalty of five years’ imprisonment if found with an unregistered weapon, coupled with upgraded forensic ballistics capability, the number of gun related homicides has been on the decrease.
From 2, 516 gun related homicides in 2011, that number is now down to 1,680 in 2016.
Pyramidal Technologies has been conducting a program in the Dominican Republic over the past four years using state of the art forensic technology which includes an open architecture of forensic ballistics capable of communicating with other systems such as those that process and analyze DNA, fingerprints and facial recognition systems.
The company won the Best Forensic Global Award 2016 for its Advanced Ballistics Analysis System (ALIAS) which allows ballistics technicians to analyze expended cartridges and bullets faster and with much more accuracy than in previous years.
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