Firearms and Crime 


Almost 20 years after the adoption of the Firearms Protocol, firearms often continue to be seen as accessory to crime, and consequently illicit firearms tracing and investigations of firearms trafficking are considered secondary. To open up the interest to this rather neglected but so important issue, this initial episode will discuss the firearms’ role in the criminal world. It will further explore the diversion methods used by criminal groups to pass firearms from licit to illicit markets, referring to actual cases such as the use of reactivated firearms in the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in France. Firearms trafficking is a phenomenon - not yet fully explored and understood – that requires responses at multiple levels. The discussion will also touch upon the criminal justice response and international cooperation, the importance of international instruments and the role of education in better understanding and tackling this phenomenon.

This episode intends to be an introduction to illicit firearms trafficking issues and aims to open the door for future podcast episodes that will explore various firearms related topics in more detail.


Simon Sneddon

Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Northampton

Simon Sneddon read law at Bournemouth University, and graduated with a 2:1 LLB (Hons) Business Law. Whilst an undergraduate, he spent a year working for the British Railways Board Solicitors Department in Euston, and completed two consultancy reports on waste management.

After graduation, Simon went on to complete an MA in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Keele, before moving to the University of Cambridge as researcher on a multidisciplinary project on environmental valuation.

From Cambridge, Simon came to the then University College Northampton in 2000, where he was a full-time lecturer and part time PhD student. His PhD explored the decision-making process in relation to nuclear power in the UK. Whilst working as a Senior Lecturer at Northampton, Simon completed a second MA, in Education, in 2018.

Simon is currently an external examiner at Buckinghamshire New University and Liverpool John Moore University. He is a reviewer for four academic journals and until 2017 was an editor for the Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education e-journal. Simon has been a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2015, and before that was a Fellow from 2007.

Find out more about Simon Sneddon's teaching and research.


Find out more about Nick Cartwright's teaching and research.

Nick Cartwright

Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Northampton

Nick Cartwright is currently a Senior Lecturer in Law. Nick plays a full teaching and research role with experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He currently designs and delivers core modules at levels four, six, and seven as well as being an undergraduate and post-graduate dissertation supervisor.

Nick has lectured law since 2001, starting as a lecture at the University of Hertfordshire, he has also held posts at Keele, Chester and Reading Universities and Kaplan Holborn College as well as a Visiting Lectureship at Mahatma Law School, the University of Shendi in the Sudan.

Nick is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an internal assessor for fellowship and senior fellowship applications.

Nick is currently module leader for two undergraduate module, namely Learning the Law and Jurisprudence and Current Legal Issues, and also teaches on the Medical Law module. At postgraduate level Nick is module leader for Public International Law and Research Methods and teaches on the Diversity, Migration and the Law and Firearms modules.


Paul Ianovici

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, Global Firearms Programme and Education for Justice initiative, UNODC

Paul joined the UNODC Global Firearms Programme in June 2017. Before, he worked for over five years with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, implementing development and capacity building programmes.

Paul holds a Bachelor in Law, a Master degree in Administration and Government and graduated advanced International Security Studies.


Interested in learning more about UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme? Please visit the programme's website.

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