New MobileID device provides added benefits for officers

A new mobile fingerprinting device recently launched by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in partnership with forces has helped to identify an unconscious man in intensive care.

Oct 13, 2011
By Dilwar Hussain
Chief Constable Andy Marsh

A new mobile fingerprinting device recently launched by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in partnership with forces has helped to identify an unconscious man in intensive care.

The man was successfully identified last week after a local hospital contacted Hampshire Constabulary and asked for its help to identify a seriously ill patient who had been unconscious for two days.

A police officer was subsequently sent to the hospital with a MobileID device, provided by 3M Cogent, which was used to scan the patient’s fingerprints and check them against information from the national fingerprint database, IDENT1, for verification. The device returned a match that enabled hospital staff to confirm the identification from their records.

Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: “The functionality that MobileID offers benefits more than just the police service. As this example shows, this advance in technology can also assist other agencies and the public. Over the coming months I expect to see more and more examples which highlight the advantages of using MobileID.”

The devices are currently being used by 24 police forces across England and Wales including Bedfordshire Police, City of London Police, Greater Manchester Police and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

Identification of unconscious or fatal victims at a crime/accident scene or hospital is one of the benefits that the MobileID service is bringing to frontline officers and the public since it was rolled out to forces in July. Other benefits include an average saving of at least 30 minutes per case and improved levels of public confidence.

The devices have been deployed to more than half of forces in England and Wales this year, helping to cut the number of trips police make back to the police station and giving them more time to spend on the frontline.

Nick Deyes, NPIA head of the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS), added: “This is a great example of how MobileID is not only an effective tool in the fight against crime, but also a piece of technology that can be used to help identify victims who have been seriously injured. This is a very promising start for a new service that is already proving to be an asset for frontline officers.”

The MobileID project forms part of the ISIS, a reform programme for the police service that is using IT to improve efficiency.

The strategy is expected to release savings and deliver operational improvements across policing and into the wider criminal justice system.

The mobile handheld devices are available in various models that capture only fingerprints to models that include multi-biometric capture, such as fingerprint, face, and iris.

The breadth of the products aims to overcome the various operational challenges that could be faced by officers.

The MobileID application can run on a commercially-available smartphone with compatible Operating Systems, BlackBerry or on 3M Cogent’s own biometric mobile handhelds. MobileID software also formats the captured biometric data into a NIST standard transaction records and transmits it to a remote AFIS over a wireless network.

In addition, it is 100 per cent web-based, and Web ID’s flexible architecture can be used with the organisation’s Bluetooth-enabled fingerprint scanner, BlueCheck II, or USB-powered optical scanners. Web ID can be integrated with other third party scanners via ActiveX controls and biometric data is submitted to a remote AFIS over a LAN or WAN network through the secure Web ID page using a standard web browser.

Depending on the existing IT network and infrastructure, officers can use the MobileID or Web ID application to perform in-the-field real time identification.

The equipment provided by 3M Cogent has meant the organisation is now a trusted partner and industry leader in delivering end-to-end, innovative security solutions to businesses and governments worldwide – helping to ensure the security of pe

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