Scotland Yard deploys handheld fingerprint devices

Britain's largest police force helped pioneer the field of fingerprint identification


Associated Press

LONDON — Scotland Yard says it's equipping its police officers with handheld fingerprint devices, something the force says will help identify suspects in a matter of seconds.

Britain's largest force says it has distributed 350 of the cell phone-sized devices to officers across various parts of London, part of a nationwide rollout championed by Britain's National Policing Improvement Agency.

The force said Wednesday that the devices capture fingerprints and remotely check them against the police database, flagging wanted criminals in 30 seconds. Photographs of the devices released by police showed that they were manufactured by Pasadena, California-based biometrics company 3M Cogent, Inc.

Scotland Yard helped pioneer the field of fingerprint identification, setting up its Fingerprint Branch in 1901 and creating a classification system that was adopted by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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