Monday, Oct 27, 2008
Police will be able to check the identities of people in the street using mobile fingerprint scanners.
The hand-held devices, no bigger than a BlackBerry smartphone, are being issued to every police force in the UK under a scheme called Mobile Identification At Scene (Midas), according to The Guardian.
They will enable officers to scan suspects’ fingerprints on the spot and compare them against records on the police national biometric database, Ident1.
It is claimed the scanners will save police time and cut the number of wrongful arrests.
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Currently, officers have to take suspects to custody suites to check their fingerprints – a procedure that takes an average 67 minutes.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) estimates that on a national level this would be equivalent to having an extra 336 officers on the beat.