The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is the latest force to benefit from a national police roll-out of mobile fingerprint scanners.
Police officers across the Met will now be able to check an individual’s identity on the beat "within two minutes", the force said, without officers having to take suspects to the station. MobileID allows police officers to scan a person’s fingerprints and check them against information held on the national IDENT1 fingerprint database for verification.
The Met said this will enable faster identification of individuals saving the public and police officers time and also help increase the number of offenders who are identified and brought to justice. Fingerprints taken on mobile phone-sized MobileID devices are not retained after a search, the force added.
MPS assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said: "Evidence has shown that a full identification arrest can tie-up both the subject and the police officer for several hours. Even a traditional identity check conducted on the street can take an extended period of time to complete.
"MobileID is effective particularly in revealing serious and violent offenders who will do everything they can to prevent the police from knowing their true identities."
In total, 350 devices will be deployed across the MPS over the next month.
Like the Met, forces nationally are using mobile fingerprint identification devices from 3M Cogent, as part of the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS), a reform programme for the police service that is using IT to improve efficiency.
The MPS is the 25th force to take part in the mobile identification service (MobileID) deployment, meaning more than half the police forces in England and Wales are using the scanners since they were launched.
Earlier this month the Met said it had rolled out a mobile device data extraction system to allow officers to extract data "within minutes" from suspects' phones while they were in custody.