Police minister visits Coventry to see new fingerprint scanners

Damian Green wants police to have the “best tools”

Newly appointed Police and Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green visited police in Coventry today to discuss local challenges and see how new fingerprint technology, in the form of handheld scanners, is allowing officers to operate more efficiently.

The scanners, in use in Coventry since last month, are pocket-sized gadgets linked by satellite to a national fingerprint database, allowing officers to identify crime suspects on the streets instantly. This means they don’t have to go back to police stations to verify the prints and can thus spend more time on their beats.

During the visit the minister met Chris Sims, chief constable of West Midlands Police. Green also pointed out that he “wants the police service to have the best tools and training… it is through innovations like this that police forces can get the most out of their staff and increase their service to the public.”

Later that day, at the Police Superintendents’ annual conference, he spoke of the need to continue the excellent relationship between police and the public, which has been boosted by the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The minister spoke the day after the Home Secretary addressed the conference in which she outlined how government reforms to policing would benefit both the public and the police.

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