NSW Police to use mobile biometrics by 2009

Finger scanners to link people to offences

NSW Police has confirmed it will roll out a new state-wide system of Criminal Infringement Notices (CINs) with the aid of a biometric finger scanning device from 2009 in an effort to reduce paperwork and court attendances.

As first reported by Computerworld, NSW Police has been trialling portable biometric devices for a number of years as a means of linking individuals to crimes.

A CIN is an alternative legal process to the arrest and processing of suspects and involves an "on-the-spot" fine for a range of minor criminal offences.

CINs have been trialled in 12 Local Area Commands since 2002 and can be issued for seven different offences.

The introduction of portable fingerprint devices will also help identify known offenders and outstanding warrants in the field.

A contract has been awarded for 500 machines with a plan for their roll-out to begin in 2009.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said both measures are about freeing up police from paperwork and getting them out on the streets to further drive down crime.

"It's a commitment to high visibility policing," Scipione said.

Like all infringement notices issued in NSW, the State Debt Recovery Office will take responsibility for payments.

CINs project manager, superintendent Robert Redfern said by allowing police the ability to issue a CIN for minor criminal offences, it is estimated police will save up to two hours processing time per offence thus providing more opportunity for frontline policing.

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Rodney Gedda

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