May 26, 2012 -
British police officers are now being armed with not just the usual hardware but a portable fingerprint scanner as well. Scotland Yard says that the biometric scanning device will help police officers ascertain the identification of a suspect within a span of a few seconds.
The handheld device is no larger than any mobile phone and can fit into a police officer uniform pocket or vest. Roughly 350 units have been given to officers scattered around London by Britain’s National Policing Improvement Agency.
The handheld devices are able to scan and capture fingerprints along with running them against a remote database for verification. The device is manufactured by 3M Cogent. Armed with the handheld fingerprint scanner, police officers can quickly trace, flag or bring suspects in for questioning after the device comes returns a confirmed result.
The fingerprint branch of the Metropolitan Police Service was established in 1901, making it one of the pioneers in the field. The same classification system used by the law enforcement group has been adapted by other agencies around the world.
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Will the use of mobile fingerprint devices infringe on privacy rights of Londoners?