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NSW officers to carry digital scanner to check figerprints

February 27, 2009

NEW portable fingerprint scanners have been rolled out to police across NSW in a program costing $5.1 million.

The 500 scanners will allow police in the field to almost instantly verify the identity of offenders who have been given court attendance notices or criminal infringement notices, instead of having to return to the station.

If an offender’s fingerprints are on the national database, officers will also be able to check for outstanding warrants or breaches of bail.

NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly said the devices were portable, rugged and light.

“Our police will now be able to access the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) which will allow them to check an offender’s criminal record within 90 seconds of taking fingerprints,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“Police now have access to over four million records from across Australia at their fingertips in the field.

“We recognise that our police do a magnificent job in tackling crime in our community and it is our responsibility to support them.”

Officers from the Holroyd, Parramatta, Penrith, Blacktown areas of Sydney, the Mid-North Coast, Monaro and Brisbane Waters Local Area Commands have been the first to receive and use the scanners.

“Police have already reported that the units have been used successfully at a music festival at Eastern Creek,” Mr Kelly said.

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