Today the police started a process to destroy over 700 guns. Some of them are firearms that the police have taken off the street - but most are weapons assigned to law enforcement that aren't good anymore.
But, as we found out today authorities want to make sure no part is ever used again:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
This morning, the hydraulic shears at the Queen Street Police Station were busy - the violent sound of the blades crushing barrels and stocks with mechanical precision.
The weapons slated for destruction came by the truckful - and the sacksful - 470 from police and 260 from the BDF.
It is part of an effort by the UN Office for Peace, Disarmament and Development - which also donated the hydraulic shears.
Julian Bustamante, UN Dept. of Peace, Disarmament and Development
"What we are doing today is we are witnessing end of view the destruction of surplus confiscated and obsolete weapons."
"The periodic destruction of these weapons; confiscated surplus and obsolete is one of the most effective ways to ensure that these weapons do not go back to the streets."
And the weapon destruction is being closely monitored and documented by a team from the police department and the ministry of finance - who diligently check and cross check each of the 730 weapons.
Inspector Azenette Pook, Staff Officer Mgmt. Services
"So, now they are ticking off all these firearms - they have to be written down - the serial numbers. If they were confiscated, if they are unserviceable firearms, what types of firearms are being destroyed, all of these have to be check. The audit department is here, the Ministry of Finance and the Police Department."
They have all been inventorized and the origins detailed on a long list - pages and pages like this.
All to meet UN standards for reporting:
Inspector Azenette Pook, Staff Officer Mgmt Services
"These firearms that the police had in their armory at the police headquarters - they are inventorize by the armorer Sgt. Augustine; he went through the process of having these firearms checked. He checked all these firearms, the ones that are unserviceable, the ones that have been confiscated to make sure that all of them were in fact unserviceable and the ones that have been confiscated matters before the court have been concluded."
"After he did that he made out a list of all these firearms and we sent them to the Ministry of Finance so that they could give us permission to have them destroyed."
In the end - they are left with heaps of scrap metal - fashioned so that no home-made weapons can be produced.
And while there is some symbolic value of turning guns into scraps - truth is most of these guns were not serviceable in the first place - and it doesn't do anything to take guns off the street:
"All these are lone old iron and really it's not substantially contributing to public safety the streets of guns."
Inspector Azenette Pook
"Parts of these weapons can still be taken to make homemade firearms and so for us it is essential that that is not done, so that is why we are making sure that these firearms are cut/destroyed so that they cannot be used again in any form."
"As you know that not only firearms are being traffic across borders but also weapons are being stolen from government and private facilities. This one of the measures of reducing the risk of theft, loss and robbery. We know that this is a big problem that weapons are still being trafficked, but this is one of the important steps to continue in the fight against illicit trafficking of firearms."
The gun destruction went all day and will continue tomorrow.
Previously guns were destroyed using blowtorches.