While countries in the region possess traditional forensics capabilities for investigation and preparation of court cases, it was highlighted that there is an insufficient amount of knowledge and equipment to carry out traditional forensics works in a CBRN Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear (Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear) environment, namely in the aftermath of an incident involving CBRN materials. The project integrated various activities and, by building upon previous projects and achievements and complementing Partner countries own activities, with the aim that sub-regions became in a long run self-sufficient to respond to CBRN forensic challenges. 

The project enhanced collaboration and coordination among national agencies and also created links across the sub-regions, to enable joining forces and achieving specialization (as far as possible) for specific threats/events.

Goal of the project

The overall objective of the EU European Union (European Union) CBRN CoE project 57 was to strengthen the forensics capabilities of the crime scene investigators and forensics institutions in the environment of a CBRN incident in the two sub-regions of the SEEE region (Western Balkans and Black Sea Region). The aim of the project was threefold: (1) to strengthen the existing traditional forensic capabilities in investigating CBRN incidents among police experts; (2) to develop a training system on forensic investigations in CBRN-related cases, and (3) to foster the establishment of networks of CBRN and forensics-related institutions and networks of forensics experts dealing with CBRN-related investigations at the sub-regional level.

Who were involved 

The project was coodinated by Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie / Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire (SCK CEN), project lead was done by Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) (RIVM), forensic institutes involved were Nederlands Forensisch Instituut (Netherlands Forensic Institute) (NFI), National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (Belgium) (INCC) and Centar za forenzična ispitivanja, istraživanja i vještačenja Ivan Vučetić (Forensic Science Centre Ivan Vucetic), as well as the CBRN experts of International Security and Emergency Management Institute (ISEMI).


  • Train-the-trainer on CBRN forensics, existing of 3 weeks of training with the ultimate aim to get trainers introduced into forensic sampling in a CBRN contaminated crime scene.
  • A set of Recommended Operating Procedures (ROP’s) for CBRN forensic sampling of a CBRN contaminated crime scene 
  • Guidelines for developing table-top and field exercises, enabling countries preparing and executing their own exercises.
  • A product that has been developed as a follow up of P57 is ‘A Prosecutor’s Guide to Chemical and Biological Crimes’, delivered by UNICRI and funded by the EU.


  • Most countries have developed their own SOPs on the basis of the ROPs provided by the consortium. In two countries, the SOPs have been officially adopted and integrated in the existing legislation at the end of the project. For the other countries, this still needs to be done. 
  • At the end of the project, one 3-weeks TTT course has been organized for the Partner Countries, which implies that 3 trainers per country were trained. These trainers have on their turn trained forensic investigators in their country, adding up to a total amount of about 135 participants that have received some form of training on CBRN forensics. Trainings were limited in time and focused on the basics, advanced subjects will need to be trained in follow up training.
  • The execution of 6 sub-regional exercises; three sub-regional table top exercises and three sub-regional field exercises were conducted in the course of the project. The aim of the table top exercises was to organize a crime scene investigation in case of a CBRN event with a C-agent involving a criminal act. The main goal of the field exercises was to improve CBRN forensics skills in response to a criminal event involving the possible release of a CBRN agent (C or RN) at the crime scene.

RIVM role

RIVM delivered the Key Expert 1, indicating that RIVM was responsible for leading the project. In addition to this, RIVM contributed to the training content, training delivery, organization of study visits to several institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium, and supported in the development of the exercises.