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New South Wales Police Purchase 1,000 Biometric Scanners

Law enforcement technology is ramping up development at unprecedented speeds. Combined with the latest breakthroughs in smartphones and mobile systems, officers around the world are able to perform their jobs more efficiently, safely and for longer periods; and that's exactly what the police force in New South Wales is hoping to achieve by bringing 1,000 biometric scanners to their patrols.

Fingerprint Scanning On-the-Go

In the past, officers had to take a suspect into custody and physically transport them to the nearest station for fingerprinting. Not only did it take the officers off the streets and away from their primary duties of serving and protecting the public, but it was a tedious – and often controversial – process for everyone involved.

Their newest strategy, which involves biometric scanners that are attached directly to their standard issue smartphones, is much easier, quicker and convenient. Instead of taking the officer off the streets entirely, these systems let them remain on patrol and resume their primary duties as soon as possible.

A spokesperson with the NSW Police explained some of the basic functionality of the new, proprietary system by saying: "This pairing will enable almost instantaneous searching and enrolment of biometric data on national databases by officers in the field."

The spokesperson continued to say: "The new device provides a significantly enhanced fingerprint recording capability equivalent to what has previously only been possible from non-portable equipment, such as Livescan. It also provides an improved user interface with an in-built quality control capability which facilitates faster capture and searching of high quality biometric data."

Inherent Controversy

The recent news, although highly beneficial to the police force as a whole, is not without its share of controversy, too. According to current laws in the region, officers have the right to scan a suspect's fingerprints upon arrest, but they are legally allowed to ask anyone for their personal consent at any time.

Officials with the NSW Police are optimistic that this will bring a significant boost to the overall number of fingerprints they have on file and, as a result, help them solve crimes with more efficiency. But local citizens fear that officers may use these mobile units as an excuse to fingerprint anyone and everyone – and for no reason at all.

Making matters worse is the fact that some citizens see this is the latest event in what seems like a concentrated push toward a police state throughout Australia. Citizens in Melbourne are increasingly concerned about facial recognition technology and its use by their local police force. Crown Casino in Melbourne even uses highly sophisticated facial recognition software to quickly identify VIPs or banned guests.

Tapping into NEC

The NSW Police recently teamed up with NEC in a $4.7 million contract to make their vision a reality. While it was originally conceptualized nearly three years earlier, in 2015, NSW police initially had difficulty finding a technology vendor that fit the bill.
For more information on NEC, including details on any of their products or services, please visit their official website at {{|}}.


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