Farewell to ink pads

PUBLISHED: 12:59 22 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:15 28 May 2010

A hand is placed on the machine and a read-out appears on the screen – not an ink pad in sight

A hand is placed on the machine and a read-out appears on the screen - not an ink pad in sight

HUNDREDS of people asked each year to have their fingerprints taken at a Fenland police station will in future find it a cleaner and swifter process. For Wisbech Police Station is one of only three in the county where a revolutionary digital system has re

HUNDREDS of people asked each year to have their fingerprints taken at a Fenland police station will in future find it a cleaner and swifter process.

For Wisbech Police Station is one of only three in the county where a revolutionary digital system has replaced the traditional ink and paper method of taking prints.

Livescan, the digital system for taking fingerprints, has been placed in three police stations in Cambridgeshire as part of a national initiative to speed up the fingerprinting process.

Whereas before officers had the messy task of taking fingerprints with ink and paper, Livescan is a faster and easier way of completing the process.

The system allows information on the detained person to be generated within minutes, whereas previously officers may have had to wait up to 24 hours. This means any warnings or markers on that person can be acted upon immediately.

Vicky Lewis, Livescan liaison officer, said: "This piece of technology is bringing fingerprinting into the 21st century replacing a technique that has been used by officers for over 100 years.

"The system will save officers hours and will mean we will be able to get important information about a detained person within minutes."

Livescan has been piloted at Huntingdon Police Station since August and is now fully up and running there and at Wisbech and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.. It will be used at Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, from December.

Sgt Steve Swash said: "Livescan has worked to speed up the process of fingerprinting and identifying whether or not a detained person is wanted for any other crimes or on the national database."

During the systems first week at Huntingdon Police Station the system flagged up two wanted persons within minutes of their arrival in custody.

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