Two police forces in Wales have begun using INK Biometrics (Identity Not Known) in the field in a pilot project that will last three months before a review is conducted on its efficacy.
South Wales Police and Gwent Police have deployed ten mobile devices to be shared between the two departments. The INK Biometrics device allows officers to scan a suspect’s fingerprints and returns results within sixty seconds if the suspect is know to the police database.
“Confirming a person’s identity is a cornerstone of policing, this technology builds on an officers’ training and provides them with an additional tool to help them carry out their role,” said Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert. “This technology will enable our officers to intervene earlier and reduce the crimes that cause the most harm in our communities,” he added.
This is not the first time a police force in Wales has turned to biometric technology to aid officers in the line of duty. Last year South Wales Police reported they had made over 450 arrests during a nine month period using biometric facial recognition technology applied to mugshots on file and to live CCTV feeds.
Though there have been some mixed results, this hasn’t discouraged officials from moving forward with regards to the use of biometric technology as a tool to keep people safe.
“Delivering new technology is an important part of how keeping our communities safe and protecting the public,” South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said. “It is important to make best use of technology, to keep the public safe while working within the law and protecting civil liberties.”
Police in South Wales seem to be leaders in using biometrics for police work. In addition to their extensive use of facial recognition, in 2018 they managed to bust a drug operation using a fingerprint collected from a WhastApp photo.
October 11, 2019 – by Tony Bitzionis