Fingerprint bureau is set to acquire new technology to trace perpetrators of crime in a speedy manner, writes

Biju Govind.

The government has given approval for installing a state-of-the-art Automated Finger Print Identification System (AFPIS) at all fingerprint bureaux. A firm-based in Orissa will provide the software at a cost of Rs.50 lakh. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Fingerprint Bureau) Sasidhara Kurup said the technology would be installed in a couple of months.

Initially, it would be set up at the central bureau in Thiruvananthapuram and then extended to the other bureaus, including Kozhikode and Vadakara, in the second phase via a dedicated online system.

Now, fingerprint experts trace the identity of criminals manually. The central bureau was using the Finger Print Analysis and Criminal Tracing System (FACTS) from 1999-2004. The department did not update this software following technical glitches, Mr. Kurup said.

The department and the company would reach an agreement for updating the AFPIS software. “The software also has the facility to add all existing digitised fingerprints,” he said.

Matter of minutes

The software would help the Police Department keep a database of fingerprints of ex-convicts, arrested persons and dossier criminals in digital format.

Experts will be able to track perpetrators of a crime within minutes.

Now, manual tracing of fingerprints takes more than a week. The Kozhikode bureau alone maintains two lakh fingerprints, said M. Abdul Razak, chief of the Finger Print Bureau, Kozhikode. The new software will be useful in the detection of several pending cases in the State. The establishment of a conclusive link between the crime and the criminal could be done in a speedy manner, he said.

“Since fingerprint is an infallible, inexpensive and the most scientific system of personal identification, it should be made compulsory in Secondary School Leaving Certificates (SSLC) and passports. There have been a lot of circumstances under which the name, face, dress and features are not enough to prove the identity of a person,” Mr. Razak said.

Fingerprint is already the mainstay in biometry, access control systems, digital passports, ATM cards, electoral cards and other digital identity cards. No one can forge a fingerprint and if it is forged it can be easily detected.