Role of the Fingerprints Section
The Fingerprint Section is the biggest section in the Technical Bureau. It has a staff of 46 comprising an Inspector, 9 Sergeants, 30 Gardaí and 6 civilians.
The Section carries out the following tasks:-
- Examines fingerprints taken from crime scenes
- Maintains a finger and palm print database
- Provides fingerprint evidence at criminal trials and the Coroner’s Court
- Reviews cases submitted from Divisional Crime Scene Examiners
- Encodes, processes and searches sets of finger and palm prints
- Chemically examines exhibits submitted from scenes of crime
- Provides fingerprint training to Garda Personnel, and Army and Prison Officers
Advances in Fingerprint Technology
A new PRINTRAK Biometric Information System went live on 22 October 2007. This system replaced the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) 2000. The new system is being implemented in 4 phases:-
Phase 1: Replacement of AFIS 2000 and upgrading of the 3 Livescans (machines that take fingerprints without ink and send electronically) in Mountjoy Prison, Bridewell Garda Station in Cork and Store Street Garda Station in Dublin. The new system also includes an interface with electronic submission of fingerprints from the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner.
Phase 2: Integration of AFIS with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and Deployment of Mobile AFIS capability.
Phase 3: Integration of AFIS with PULSE (the database used by An Garda Síochána).
Phase 4: Integration of AFIS with Interpol, Europol and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Work is continuing on schedule.
The new system is at the cutting edge of fingerprint technology and is proving to be of great assistance in supporting crime investigations.