Police in the UK are about to trial a mobile fingerprint matching system aimed at making it easier to identify criminals and wanted suspects in the field. It can also help officers to identify individuals in emergency situations, and to contact next of kin when appropriate.
The system revolves around a mobile app, paired with a compact fingerprint scanner device from Integrated Biometrics costing less than £300. Officers can scan an individual’s fingerprint, and the app will then match it against two databases, IDENT1 and IABS, using the government’s Biometric Services Gateway.
The Home Office says it will roll out 250 scanners to West Yorkshire Police “in the coming weeks”, according to a statement from the department, and that another 20 police forces will deploy the technology by the end of the year. Pointing to the administrative efficiencies offered by the system, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd asserted that “if all forces delivered the level of productivity from mobile working as the leading forces, the average officer could spend an hour a day extra on the frontline.”
It’s another example of the increasing use of biometric identification technologies by law enforcement authorities in the UK, with South Wales Police having deployed a police car-mounted face scanning system last year.
February 12, 2018 – by Alex Perala