A TOP police officer today warned crooks who try to trick their way out of trouble by lying about their identity: ‘We will find you out.’
Chief Inspector Cleave Faulkner says Hampshire police has caught out countless criminals and saved thousands since becoming one of the first forces to adopt mobile fingerprint ID technology.
The devices take an image of a fingerprint from a suspect or someone caught committing a crime in cases where their ID is not readily available, or where their details are thought to be false or cannot be readily checked.
The pocket-sized scanners can also be used to check the identity of patients where justified.
The image is checked against up to 11.5m records stored on the Police National Computer to provide a result within about 45 seconds.
If that person has a criminal record it will flag it up.
Prints are not stored. And it means police do not necessarily have to arrest a suspect and take them into custody to get their prints.
So far more than 6,130 checks have bee conducted using mobile ID in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since it was introduced a year ago.
Police say the 53 devices in operation have saved time, money and kept more officers out on the beat.
Ch Insp Faulkner said: ‘I have been to many, many jobs where people decide to tell us their name before we have even used the device. So it’s a massive deterrent as well.
‘It’s hugely successful. Like all things officers have to work within data protection legislation. They must have justification to use it.
‘The benefit of it is that officers can very quickly identify who somebody actually is, and as a consequence of that find out about their history and the risks they pose.’
‘The message is don’t lie to the police about who you are. We will find out.’
Just over £100,000 has been spent on three-year contracts for the devices. The force is now supporting the Met with the roll-out of 350 devices ahead of the Olympics. Hampshire was the only force to used mobile ID during the London riots in August.