Feeds

West Midlands plods get mobile fingerprint tech

Portable mobile dab-slabs lead to Brummie collars felt

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

West Midlands police is to introduce fingerprint scanning devices, which allow officers to find out if a person is wanted by police or the courts.

The force said it plans to roll out 70 hand-held MobileID devices following a successful pilot of the technology. The devices are satellite-linked to a national fingerprint database and instantly alert officers if the scanned prints belong to a convicted criminal. Police can then cross-reference this information against the Police National Computer.

Police in east Birmingham have been trialling the technology for several months and West Midlands said that the devices have been effective. According to the force, the scanners have cut bureaucracy and saved police time by keeping officers out on the streets, rather than having to put suspects through lengthy custody procedures when it may not be necessary.

During the pilot of the devices, officers in east Birmingham were able to make swift arrests of suspected burglars and people who had failed to turn up for court appearances, said West Midlands.

Darren Walsh, chief inspector at the force, said that the devices mean that suspects cannot try and provide false details about their identity.

"Traditionally, if officers had suspicions about an individual we'd need to take them to a police station, go through the custody process, and fingerprint them at the station which could take hours. The MobileID kits quickly confirm whether an arrest is necessary and frees up officers to be on the streets protecting the public," he said.

The devices are used to check prints against the national database and doesn't permanently store scanned images, the force said. Walsh added that no information is kept for use at a later date.

Mobile is part of the National Policing Improvement Agency's (NPIA) Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS), which aims to transform the way police technology is used and managed nationally. The soon-to-be-abolished agency started making the devices available to police forces in England and Wales in July 2011.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?