The 24th Annual Meeting of ENFSI Firearms/GSR Working Group was held on 11th-13th October, 2017, in Espoo, Finland. The meeting was attended by over 120 delegates from all over Europe and with representations from the US. A very full and stimulating scientific program was presented followed by workshops updating on Monopoly Project MP2014 for both disciplines.
The latest Forensic Science Regulator Newsletter, No. 29, has just been published and can be found below.
Mark continues his assistance to the UN as a Senior Advisor in Forensic Ballistics. He has just returned from Trinidad following the delivery of training in Double Casting at the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre. Further missions to Barbados, Guyana and Bahamas are planned this year together with coordinating meetings in Lima.
FFC Ltd was invited to speak at the Criminal Bar Association Spring Conference on Saturday 20th May 2017 at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, London. The subject was expert evidence and the CBA invited leading experts in their respective fields to present on the science behind their specialiasms with a particular focus on the challenges to such expertise in a criminal court. Angela attended on behalf of FFC and presented an update on forensic ballistics and the essential elements of GSR evidence.
The 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) Firearms/GSR Working Group was held on the 4-7th October 2016 in Rome. The meeting was very well attended and offered a very stimulating and full scientific program.
Angela gave a presentation discussing issues around the global reporting of indicative GSR particles while Mark alongside Dr Jan Eckert, Bundeskriminalamt, presented on the work of UNLIREC in providing Caribbean Member States with technical assistance to improve capabilities for firearms control and the opportunities for UNLIREC to cooperate with our ENFSI Working Group.
Mark returns to St. Kitts and Nevis and Barbados to deliver further training in his role as Senior Forensic Ballistics Technical Advisor for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The mission aims to assist in building law enforcement capacity in Forensic Ballistics in St. Kitts and Nevis and Barbados. The mission was supported by the High Commission of Canada in Barbados.
“It was very rare that there was ever leakage from the licensed gun owners to the criminal fraternity. Most guns used by criminal are either illegally imported or converted weapons. And that remains the case today…” . – Mark quoted in The Guardian regarding the Issue of Gun Control: (published 14th March 2016)
“It’s a very simple piece of kit,” said Mark Mastaglio, a UK-based ballistics expert. – as quoted in The Guardian December 29, 2015
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) has been providing Latin American and Caribbean Member States with technical assistance to improve capabilities for small arms control, including law enforcement training to combat illicit trafficking, legal reforms, stockpile management and the destruction of obsolete and confiscated weapons and ammunition.
As part of this assistance, UNLIREC identified the pressing need for increased training, standards, equipment and human resource capacity in the field of forensic ballistics in order to reduce impunity in cases of illicit trafficking and criminal armed violence. Mark was very pleased to have recently been appointed a Senior Forensic Ballistics Technical Advisers (FBTAs) by UNLIREC to provide planned and ad hoc assistance to Member States.
The first mission has seen Mark deployed to St Kitts where he delivered a training course to enhance the forensic capabilities of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police. The training exercise focusing on operational forensic ballistics in St. Kitts and there are plans for a return trip next year to assist the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures and Competency Testing.
Angela was invited by Professor Robert Flanagan (Chairman) of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences to speak on Wednesday 13th May 2015 on the topic of Essential Elements of Gunshot Residue Evidence. The event was held at the very impressive Gordon Museum of Pathology, King’s College London, and was well attended by BAFS members and colleagues. Amongst other topics Angela précised her involvement in reviewing the GSR evidence in the case of the shooting of Jill Dando. This work was commissioned by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and on the basis of the review the CCRC referred the conviction of Barry George for the murder to the Appeal Court on the grounds that new evidence called into question the GSR evidence presented at trial and the significance apparently attached to that evidence. Ultimately Barry George had his conviction quashed and was found not guilty following a retrial.