UK
Police get new mobile fingerprint scanners linked to immigration database
30.07.2013


Police in the UK are being equipped with new devices that allow them to check fingerprints against the Immigration and Nationality Database whilst in the street.

According to an article in Police Oracle, Hampshire Constabulary's 'Roads Policing Unit Proactive Team' has been issued with "five devices similar to the Lantern system." [1] The Lantern system was introduced in a pilot project by the now-defunct National Policing Improvement Agency and allowed officers to check fingerprints against the National Fingerprint Database. [2] The new devices are known as Rapid ID and "are only deployed in cases where officers suspect that an immigration offence has taken place," according to Police Oracle.

As well as Hampshire Constabulary, the devices are also being trialled by the Central Motorway Patrol Group, "a full-regionalised policing service for the motorways of the West Midlands, West Mercia and Staffordshire force areas," [3] and Greater Manchester Police.

"Fingerprints are first checked against the National Fingerprint Database. If Rapid ID is used, an immigration number is provided and officers have to check it with the relevant authorities," says Police Oracle. It quotes Sergeant Simon Goss from Hampshire Police as saying that "being able to access the Immigration Database was a step forward," although "ideally it would be easier if you access both databases from one device."


Further reading


Sources
[1] Cliff Caswell, Officers given mobile access to immigration fingerprint database, 24 July 2013
[2] The MIDAS touch, Public Service Review, 6 August 2010
[3] Central Motorway Police Group

S
earch our database for more articles and information or subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates from Statewatch News Online. We welcome contributions to News Online and comments on this website. E-mail us, call +44 (0) 208 802 1882, or send post to PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW.

Home page | Statewatch News Online
In the News & News Digest | What's New | Statewatch Journal

© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.