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Police Digital Service develops new system for digital fingerprints


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Police Digital Service (PDS) has said it close to delivering a new digital fingerprint capability for policing.

It has reported that the technical work, taking place under the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Transforming Forensics (TF) programme with the Home Office Biometrics (HOB) team and subject matter experts, should be completed this month.

The system will be delivered to the first group of police forces in the East Midlands from early March then rolled out more widely. It will be hosted on the PDS Xchange cloud platform for policing technology and infrastructure, which is powered by AWS.

This follows its successful integration with the IDENT1 national automated fingerprint system in April, which has facilitated access to more than 8.4 million fingerprint records.

In addition, hosting arrangements for TF have transferred to PDS .

The organisation said the new capability will make it possible for police officers to send fingerprint and crime scene images in real time to the Fingerprint Bureau – another element of the TF programme – identify them against IDENT1, and use an automated digital workflow that complies with standards for data retention and deletion.

Game changer

Andrew Price, director of corporate, forensics and technical services at East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “What TF has created with this capability and the Xchange platform moves fingerprints into the digital age whilst de-risking obsolescence.

“This game changing moment now swings the focus to prioritise the integration between HOB and TF, a crucial requirement for delivering the ‘holy grail’ of fingerprint identification and maximise investigative outcomes.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council forensic lead, Chief Constable Nick Dean, said: “I am confident that this will lead to crucial improvements for investigations and better outcomes for victims of crime, in the near future.”

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