Australian police looking to collect biometrics in the field with mobile fingerprint solution

August 21, 2015 - 

Australia’s NSW Police Force is looking to provide officers with portable fingerprint scanners to be used with a fleet of Samsung smartphones and body-worn video cameras which are being slowly rolled out across the force, according to a report by IT News.

The police force has approached various technology vendors for portable fingerprint scanner solution.

The new technology is part of the NSW’s ongoing initiative to digitize the daily duties of officers in the field to eliminate the need for them to return to the station to register and verify the IDs of criminals and suspects.

Although NSW Police has not stated exactly how many of the portable fingerprint scanners it plans to purchase, it is currently seeking portable scanners that will work in concert with a growing fleet of Samsung Note 4 smartphones by tethering them to the mobile devices’ internet connection and transferring captured biometric data to a mobile app.

One of the main requirements is that the scanners are FBI-certified in order to comply with the demands of national information-sharing services agency CrimTrac for sharing and matching fingerprints against the national automated fingerprint identification system (NAFIS).

Based on the tender documents, the police force is hoping the portable biometric capture technology will significantly increase the number of fingerprints on file and ensure greater operational savings by not having to bring individuals back to the station to capture their biometric information.

The technology will also allow police officers to verify the identity of suspects on the spot, and access crucial information such as weapons warnings or outstanding warrants.

In its 2015 budget, the NSW government allocated $100 million to its ‘policing for tomorrow’ fund for electronic policing innovations.

So far, the government has committed $4 million to the rollout of 250 body-worn video cameras to increase evidence gathering at crime scenes and prevent police violence.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.