Fingerprint Device ID's Unconscious Man

Hampshire Constabulary's new mobile fingerprinting technology has been used to help identify an unconscious man in hospital.

The seriously ill patient was brought into Southampton General Hospital's intensive care unit at the start of October.

Having been unconscious for two days, staff there called the police in the hope officers might be able to confirm his identity.

A police constable from Southampton's Targeted Patrol team used the MobileID device to scan the man's fingerprints and check them against the national fingerprint database.

The device returned a match which meant hospital staff could confirm the man's identification from their records.

Chief Inspector Cleave Faulkner, who leads Hampshire Constabulary's mobile technology project, said:

 "We've been using mobile fingerprint technology since July this year and this is the first time it's been used in this way.

"Being able to swiftly identify unconscious people and fatal victims at the scene or in hospital is important if for example that person needs vital medication or we need to contact their next of kin.

"It can otherwise take a while to identify someone under these circumstances. The handheld devices can save on average about 30 minutes per case.

"As a force, we're always keen to embrace new technology that will help us make the most of our resources."

The MobileID devices have been made available by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA).

Hampshire Constabulary currently has 53 devices which have been used in total more than 500 times since going live.

Nick Deyes, NPIA head of the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS) said:

"This is a great example of how MobileID is not only an effective tool in the fight against crime, but also a piece of technology that can be used to help identify victims who have been seriously injured.

"This is a very promising start for a new service that is already proving to be an asset for frontline officers."