Centre to set up national fingerprint database of criminals

New Delhi: A national fingerprints database of nearly 30 lakh convicts and arrested criminals will be created by the government soon for speedy identification of offenders and for expediting ongoing probes.

The database of convicts and crime offenders will be set up by the Home Ministry by collating records from all the states and union territories. 

Currently, the Central Finger Print Bureau (CPFB) has data of over 9.7 lakh fingerprint records of convicted or arrested persons in digitised form. However, there are around 20 lakh fingerprint records with fingerprint bureaus of states and union territories which are yet to be linked to the central database.

"We have now decided to integrate the records of the state agencies and make them part of the national database. The National Informatics Centre is creating a 'cloud' for this integration," a Home Ministry official said.

The integration of all data at CPFB would facilitate police and investigators anywhere in the country get finger print data of any criminal on real time basis. 

As of now, investigators send fingerprints lifted from a crime scene to the state finger print bureau for matching. If there is no match, the prints are then sent to the CPFB and fingerprint bureaus of other states.

"It is a very time consuming process and that is why we want to make it a real time information gathering database," the official said. 

Among all states, Gujarat has the largest database of fingerprints with nearly 12 lakh images, while Andhra Pradesh has 5.3 lakh and Madhya Pradesh 3 lakh records. 

Besides helping to track absconding criminals, the database will be beneficial to police in identifying bodies, which helps in building leads and establishing motives behind the crime.

The Home Ministry also plans to integrate the fingerprint database with other biometric techniques like digital images, palm prints and auxiliary biometric like Iris records in future.

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