SA Police tap NEC fingerprint scanning for mobile identity checks

By GovTechReview Staff
Monday, 17 February, 2014

Strong success during an early trial has convinced the South Australia Police (SAPOL) to fast-track deployment of a mobile fingerprint-scanning unit that will let officers identify suspects at the scene of a crime using a standard Android smartphone.

The system, based on a mobile app developed by NEC, uses a Bluetooth-based fingerprint scanner to capture the fingerprints of people who police are concerned may be misrepresenting their identities. This information is then used to run a query against the Crimtrac National Police Reference database, checking whether the fingerprint has already been registered in CrimTrac's National Austomated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS).

NAFIS already stores 5.6 million sets of finger and palm prints about 3.3 million people. If a match is found, the police will be notified on the spot about outstanding warrants, bail conditions, behavioural warnings and other notices relevant to the person in question.

NEC Australia developed a secure gateway that prevents personal data from being stored on the device, and handles the secure interface with NAFIS through CrimTrac APIs.

The system has already been credited with helping SAPOL "identify a number of suspects with outstanding warrants, bail conditions and aided investigations into missing persons," NEC Australia director of communications solutions D'Wayne Mitchell said in a statement.

A total of 150 units will now be deployed across the SAPOL force, which will be able to use the systems anywhere there is mobile network access. – David Braue

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