ROBIN’S NEST: We have a new gadget to play with - a mobile fingerprinting device. Now tell us your real name...

I APOLOGISE for the lack of contact recently but in my 17 years of policing I have never known it to be so busy.

Whilst it was a privilege to have Cambridgeshire officers involved in the London Olympics, it did mean the ones left behind were worked hard. However, as normal they came up to the challenge and surpassed my expectations.

We now have everyone back and our performance is as good as ever.

As a treat my officers now have a new gadget to play with. It is a mobile fingerprint recognition device and already it is paying dividends.

Believe it or not people do not always tell us the truth. We stop people who we suspect are up to no good and sometimes they give us a different name to their real one.

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Before we would have to arrest them and take them to a custody block. We would then take their fingerprints and fax them to our HQ. Here staff would compare them with the database and try and find the identity of the person. But not any more!

A clever spark has put mobile phone technology together with a fingerprint device and hey presto. Officers can now get a person to put their finger on this device which then sends the image to the Police National Computer.

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Within minutes the person’s identity is texted back if they are known on the system. This saves the officer vast amounts of time.

Just this week officers had stopped a male in a car who attempted to give them a friend’s name. When he was put on the device it came back as someone else and guess what? He was wanted for failing to attend court.

Needless to say he was arrested and put before the court the next day.

No doubt he was cursing our new toy.

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