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Soon, Mumbai police to digitise fingerprint data

All city police stations will be equipped with a digital fingerprint scanner that uploads to a central server.— fILE Photo: M. Balaji

All city police stations will be equipped with a digital fingerprint scanner that uploads to a central server.— fILE Photo: M. Balaji  

Taking another step towards digitisation of records, the Mumbai Police will soon be taking its entire fingerprint database online. The system, used by law enforcement agencies in many countries, is expected to be operational later this month.

Last year, the Mumbai Police had initiated and implemented a slew of high-tech measures, including setting up a central server for all inter-departmental communication and citywide CCTV camera coverage. Another measure, a messenger app like WhatsApp only for policemen, is yet to be started.

Police officials said the latest initiative aims to speed up the process of verifying identities of arrested accused, and will create a database accessible on computer while reducing paper use.

Mumbai Commissioner of Police D.D. Padsalgikar said fingerprint database initiative will be implemented this month. “We have procured digital fingerprint scanners that read and store fingerprints. One scanner will be installed at every police station, and police personnel will be trained in their use.”

Digital fingerprint scanners are devices that read fingerprints when a hand is placed on its sensor plates. The fingerprints are then stored in digital format, enabling easy access and sharing. Once the project is operational, fingerprints of all arrested accused will be stored on a common server, as will fingerprints already in the police database. Using the online database, police will be able to verify the identity of an accused or a suspect by digitally taking their fingerprints and running a search on the server. This will make it easier to compare fingerprints found at crime scenes, officials said.

The police are also exploring the possibility of linking the database to the countrywide Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), an initiative that aims to link police forces to a single server so that information about arrested and wanted accused can be accessed by police anywhere in the country.

“We are consulting experts on compatibility issues in linking our database to the CCTNS server. A decision will be taken after the project is operational,” an officer involved in the initiative said.

The technological upgrades being done by the city police since last year include uploading bio-profiles of serving policemen to a common server for easy access, sharing the daily police notice on the server instead of circulating it in printed form, and setting up of an intranet system for routine communications. The Hindu had reported on Tuesday how the police are also discussing the possibility of making all their monetary transactions cashless with Axis Bank, with which the police department has its official account.

We are consulting experts on compatibility issues in linking our database to the CCTNS server.

A senior police officer

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