New mobile fingerprint scanners which can check a person's identity in two minutes are being rolled out across the MPS and police forces across the country from today. Mobile Identification [MobileID] will 'go live' across the force as part of the Commissioner's commitment to make better use of technology to fight crime and is part of a nationwide roll out of the device led by the National Policing Improvement Agency.
The MobileID is about the size of a mobile phone and allows police to read the fingerprint of an index finger. It checks the fingerprints with the national database but does not retain them afterwards. The device will be used in instances where an individual is suspected of committing an offence, or wanted for a previous offence.
In total, 350 devices will be deployed across the MPS over the next month including the following 12 boroughs: Lambeth, Southwark, Newham, Westminster, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Brent, Croydon, Islington, Camden, Hackney and Haringey. Other units including the Territorial Support Group, Traffic and Safer Transport Command will also have MobileID capability.
The field trials reported significant benefits, including faster identification of perpetrators of crime, increased time on the frontline for police officers and improved levels of public confidence.
MPS Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said:
quickly. Evidence has shown that a full identification arrest can tie-up both the subject and the police officer for several hours. Even a traditional identity check conducted on the street can take an extended period of time to complete. MobileID is effective particularly in revealing serious and violent offenders who will do everything they can to prevent the police from knowing their true identities."