New MobileID device helps identify critically ill patient

Wednesday, 05 October, 2011

A new mobile fingerprinting device recently launched by the NPIA in partnership with forces has helped to identify an unconscious man in intensive care.

The identification was made on Monday after a local hospital in Hampshire contacted Hampshire Constabulary and asked for their help to help identify a seriously ill patient who had been unconscious for two days weekend. A Hampshire officer was sent to the hospital with a MobileID device which was used to scan the patient's fingerprints and check them against information from the national fingerprint database, IDENT1 for verification. The device returned a match which enabled hospital staff to confirm the identification from their records.

Identification of unconscious or fatal victims at a crime/accident scene or hospital is one of the benefits that the MobileID service is bringing to frontline officers and the public since it was rolled out to forces in July. Other benefits include an average saving of at least 30 minutes per case and improved levels of public confidence.

The devices have been deployed to more than half of forces in England and Wales this year, helping to cut the number of trips police make back to the police station and giving them more time to spend on the frontline. For example, rather than arresting and detaining an individual to establish their identity, which can take up to several hours, it will now take a couple of minutes.

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."

DCC Peter Goodman, ACPO spokesperson for MobileID and DCC East Midlands, said:

"The functionality that MobileID offers benefits more than just the police service. As this example shows, this advance in technology can also assist other agencies and the public."

"Over the coming months I expect to see more and more examples which highlight the advantages of using MobileID."

The MobileID project forms part of the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS), a reform programme for the police service that is using IT to improve efficiency. This will release savings and deliver operational improvements across policing and into the wider criminal justice system.

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