Along two weeks, from 19 to 30 September 2016, four French Gendarmerie forensic experts trained with their Italian Carabinieri counterparts in the framework of the “European Union Police Service Training” – EUPST II live exercise in Vicenza (Italy).
This exercise gathered more than 200 police actors from 26 countries to exchange experiences and improve their readiness to jointly deploy in and contribute to international stability policing operations.
The forensic component, responsible for crime scene investigations, was composed by one French Lieutenant and three senior Non-Commissioned Officers under EUROGENDFOR flag, supported by an Italian Carabinieri team from the Forensic Department of Parma.
The scenario depicted a destabilised country where a major criminal organisation, interacting with extremist terrorist groups, erupted, settled in the capital city, and developed intense criminal activities, including human beings trafficking, prostitution, and cultural objects trafficking.
After one week of intensive training and exchange of experiences, and along four long days of live exercise, the forensic team treated several crime scenes and situations:
– murder and rape scenes,
– bomb blast scene in a petrol station including two casualties,
– hostage liberation scene after SWAT antiterrorist intervention,
– a weapons cache,
– discovery of explosive precursors in a factory,
– findings about antique vases theft,
– sampling in a stolen car
– anthropometric recording of suspects, including DNA…
This technical work required strong operational coordination and interaction with other police stakeholders: police component leadership and Organized Crime, as well as Human Beings Trafficking investigation teams, Observation and Surveillance teams, SWAT, EOD teams, Culture Heritage Protection units, and Local Police units, among others.
This was a great opportunity to exercise and learn on how to better coordinate in a crisis management background: in an insecure environment, priorities might switch very quickly depending on the security situation, and time constrains may influence the way to manage a crime scene.
Additionally, the exercise offered a great opportunity for exchanges between French and Italian experts about forensic technics, which may well benefit in a near future to the “real investigations” in both countries.