January 11, 2013 -
Police stations in Kerala will soon have the ability to collect fingerprints and iris scans from criminals, to be fed into the state’s digital database of crime information, The Hindu reports.
Fingerprint and iris scanners will be standard equipment at Kerala’s 482 police stations under the second phase of the Union government’s Crime and Criminal Tracking Networking Systems (CCTNS) program. Boasting advanced search capabilities, the CCTNS program will allow investigators to better analyze crime patterns as well as any other relevant information about suspects.
According to The Hindu report, CCTNS is part of a larger crime tracking system with a centralized data center in New Delhi.
“The police stations in the country are, today, virtually unconnected islands. Thanks to telephones and wireless, and especially thanks to mobile telephones, there is voice connectivity between the police station and senior police officers, but that is about all,” former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said. “There is no system of data storage, data sharing and accessing data. There is no system under which one police station can talk to another directly. There is no record of crimes or criminals that can be accessed by a Station House Officer, except the manual records relating to that police station. Realising the gross deficiency in connectivity, the Central government is implementing [this] ambitious scheme.
According to the Kerala police website, legacy data from the past 10 years will also be digitized and fed into this new system.
Though law enforcement is the first big implementation for this new system, it will also be partially available to the public including a provision to allow people to search the status of petitions and information on missing persons and stolen vehicles. People will also be able to send online requests to run checks on tenants or employees.