Met 'first' to develop its own mobile fingerprinting gadget
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 August 2018
The Met has claimed it is one of the first forces in the country to develop its own mobile fingerprint device.
The mobile gadget – named INK Biometrics standing for “Identity Not Known” – scans suspects’ fingerprints and confirms who they are in 60 seconds – as long as they are on police databases.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “I have always been clear in my ambition to make the best possible use of technology to fight crime.
“The speed of analysis this device will offer will allow officers to spend more time fighting crime.”
Met bosses claimed the gadgets would see offenders caught quicker, keep officers on the streets longer and save it about £200,000 a year.
The force’s funding will have fallen to £1.8 billion in 2018-19 compared to £2.5bn in 2010-11 a cut of more than £700 million, according to City Hall figures.
In total 600 devices will be rolled out to frontline officers across London over the next six months.
Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act prints are only taken where there is a legal need. Giving more officers the gadgets will save time by reducing the need to take suspects to police stations for ID checks, a Met spokesman said.
The portable devices – used on smartphones and paired with a fingerprint reader – include software produced by Met staff.
Supt Adrian Hutchinson said: “I am very proud we have become the first British police force to develop our own device.
“With the money we are saving, we are now able to provide more devices to more officers than ever before, saving them the inconvenience of waiting for a biometric device to arrive or taking the suspect into custody.”
He said the technology would help officers do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
“If the person is wanted for other offences, this device will allow us to establish this when they are stopped,” he added.
The device searches the criminal records office and immigration enforcement database.
Prints taken on the gadget are deleted automatically once an officer logs off.
The devices are designed to be simple to use and rechargeable in a police vehicle.