Feeds

Met cops get new pocket-sized fingerprint scanners

Mobile print-takers identify perps in seconds

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Met bobbies will soon be able to scan suspects' fingerprints on the street and pull up their records in seconds using internet-connected handheld gadgets.

London's top cops ordered 350 phone-size devices, which will be used to run identity checks on anyone believed to have committed an offence or potentially wanted for a crime.

The MobileID scanners will supplement the phone data slurpers rolled out earlier this week.

“One of the most powerful weapons criminals have is their ability to hide their true identity," Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman said. "With the advent of MobileID, this will become much more difficult, making our communities that much safer.”

The pocket tools allow officers to fingerprint a suspect while on the beat and identify the person in the police fingerprint database IDENT1 within two minutes. This turnaround time is contrast to the several hours consumed by detaining a suspect and taking them to a station for fingerprinting.

Fingerprint scanner, CREDIT: Metropolitan Police Press Office

The fingerprint scanners

Sergeant Dean Else, of Westminster Borough, tested the tech last year and said today that the scanners improved Scotland Yard's relationship with the public:

MobileID improves the nature of our interactions with the public because it reduces the amount of time it takes to confirm an identity. At quickest it only takes thirty seconds to get a hit on the mobile device, which is efficient compared to carrying out longer traditional identity checks, often conducted back at the station.

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) promised that the handheld scanners would bring in average saving of at least 60 minutes per case where used, and said it could be particularly helpful identifying unconscious or slain victims at a crime or accident scene.

The police said fingerprints scanned by MobileID kit are not retained after the check has been run.

Two dozen other police forces in England and Wales adopted the mobile scanners before the Met shelled out for the tech. The MobileID scanners, introduced last summer, are made by 3M Security Systems, a division of 3M Cogent which combines biometrics and broadband tech. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.