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Fingerprinting pilot Plymouth

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Devon and Cornwall Police trial National Home Office mobile fingerprinting programme

Pilot launched in Plymouth and Road Crime Unit. 

As part of the National Home Office Biometrics programme, Devon and Cornwall Police will begin trialling mobile fingerprint readers in August 2019. This will allow them to check the identity of suspects using fingerprints while on patrol. This technology will help catch more criminals, especially those who seek to evade the police by providing false details.

Using both national and local databases the fingerprint readers can confirm the identity of a suspect within 30 seconds and a positive result will allow access to further records held on both databases.  The implementation will help officers to identify more criminals, avoid unnecessary detentions, work more efficiently and overall increase public safety. 

Officers will only be able to use this device in compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which governs the major part of police powers of investigation.

A pilot will shortly commence in Plymouth Patrol, No Excuses Team and the Road Crime Unit.  If successful, others areas will follow in time.

Assistant Chief Constable Colwell, has said: “The introduction of equipment like the fingerprint readers has a profound effect on our front line officers.  It helps them to identify suspects on the street, to reduce the demand as well securing them more time on the streets to keep the public safe.

“The trial also highlights the importance of innovation within Devon and Cornwall Police and the work going into keeping us as one of the best forces in the country. Feedback from the trial will determine how this tool is rolled out across the force area in the near future.”


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