POLICE in Gwent are now able to take fingerprints on the spot without having to take suspects back to a police station.

Both Gwent Police and South Wales Police have started using the INK (Identity Not Known) Biometrics system, which scans fingerprints digitally and lets officers know within 60 seconds if they have a record on police databases.

Police have this new technology will allow for faster apprehension of wanted offenders, remove the need to take suspects to a police station, reduces the time it takes to take fingerprints and enables officers to stay out on the streets.


Gwent Police's Deputy Chief Constable Jonathan Edwards said: “Initially, ten devices will be deployed across both forces and given to core parts of operational policing.

“These devices will be extremely effective in dealing with suspects linked to modern day slavery, organised crime or the knife crime initiative, Operation Sceptre, which is responding to a national increase in reported knife crime.

“Collaboration between our two forces is enabling new technology to be delivered quicker and more effectively, resulting in greater efficiencies being made to help operational policing respond to increased demand.”

Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “It is important that our communities understand that our officers carry out their roles in an open, honest and transparent way.

“Confirming a person’s identity is a cornerstone of policing, this technology builds on an officers training and provides them with an additional tool to help them carry out their role.

“Through working in partnership, we have been able to deliver new technology that helps prevent crime, support victims and improves service delivery for members of the public.

“This technology will enable our officers to intervene earlier and reduce the crimes that cause the most harm in our communities.”

The pilot will be carried out over a three-month basis and reviewed in line with the governance structures of both forces.