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Mobile fingerprinting heads to another 10 police forces

NPIA raises the blue Lantern

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The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has announced a further roll out of mobile fingerprinting devices.

It has provided 100 devices to a further 10 police forces this month as part of the Lantern project. Lantern was initially rolled out to 10 forces last year.

The new forces using Lantern are: City of London Police, Durham Constabulary, Avon and Somerset Police, Thames Valley Police, Kent Police, Surrey Police, Derbyshire Constabulary, Leicestershire Constabulary, Merseyside Police and Greater Manchester Police.

The NPIA said that over the last 18 months the pilots have shown significant time savings when police officers are trying to establish the identity of persons stopped in the street.

Among the examples it cited are that British Transport Police have saved about 30 minutes per case, and in a survey of officers, 90 per cent estimated that Lantern was saving at least 30 minutes per case. The savings are of particular benefit on Friday and Saturday evenings when police officers are at their busiest, responding to calls.

Lantern enables the capture of fingerprint details suitable for identifying individuals in an operational environment. It allows real time searching of the national fingerprint collection on the National Automated Fingerprint System (IDENT1).

Richard Earland, chief information officer at the NPIA, said: "Lantern forms part of a wider programme to help reduce bureaucracy in the police service and increase visibility of police officers to the public. As the pilot continues, the NPIA will look at the longevity of the programme and the benefits it presents to improve policing."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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