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back to article Met cops get new pocket-sized fingerprint scanners

Met bobbies will soon be able to scan suspects' fingerprints on the street and pull up their records in seconds using internet-connected handheld gadgets. London's top cops ordered 350 phone-size devices, which will be used to run identity checks on anyone believed to have committed an offence or potentially wanted for a crime …

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Black Helicopters

Hold on . . .

. . . i'm under no obligation to even tell the police my true name and address until i'm arrested, taking someones fingerprints who *hasn't* been arrested smacks to me of a breach of fundamental human rights and the right to go about your business without undue harrassment.

You want my prints? Arrest me.

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Re: Hold on . . .

The thing is they will arrest you. They have a catch-all form of words along the lines of

"You have been arrested in order to facilitate our investigation"

Once you have been arrested, your prints and DNA will be kept on record, as will the fact of you having been arrested. That alone will hamper you obtaining a visa to enter certain countries.

I'm not for one moment suggesting you roll over and comply. Just be aware of the consequences.

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Re: Hold on . . .

I think you underestimate the MET. They will arrest you and you will then be pissed off. I don't trust these guys any further than I can throw them, but they will use the refusal as an excuse to arrest you and thereby force you to hand over your details. You can bother with the whole wrongful arrest later, but not before you have accidentally fallen down the stairs a few times and had your house turned over looking for evidence that you are a terrorist*

No, I don't like the MET and am glad I don't live in London.

*The main reason you refused to cooperate in first place, obviously...

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Big Brother

Re: Hold on . . .

and then how soon before refusing to provide your fingerprints is an arrestable offence?

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Holmes

Re: Hold on . . .

" i'm under no obligation to even tell the police my true name and address"

Yes you are.

btw. You already stink of ignorance and criminal mischief.

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Re: Hold on . . .

"The thing is they will arrest you. They have a catch-all form of words along the lines of

"You have been arrested in order to facilitate our investigation""

They can only arrest you on suspicion of having committed a particular offence, though they can usually come up with something catch-all if they have to.

Walking on the cracks in the pavement, Wearing a loud shirt in a built up area during the hours of darkness, Being in possession of an offensive wife, that sort of thing.

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Re: Hold on . . .

It's far safer for you to state when you are asked if you understand the terms of your arrest "No, I don't. I've never been arrested before. I will need a court appointed solicitor to explain them to me." After that be courteous and accommodating to their requests, but don't enter an interview room and don't sign anything except to confirm your personal details. Don't discuss anything with the police until you've spoken to a solicitor, preferably in person.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hold on . . .

Note 4C from PACE 1984 Code D:

4C The power under section 61(6A) of PACE described in paragraph 4.3(e) allows fingerprints of a suspect who has not been arrested to be taken in connection with any offence (whether recordable or not) using a mobile device and then checked on the street against the database containing the national fingerprint collection. Fingerprints taken under this power cannot be retained after they have been checked. The results may make an arrest for the suspected offence based on the name condition unnecessary (See Code G paragraph 2.9(a)) and enable the offence to be disposed of without arrest, for example, by summons/charging by post, penalty notice or words of advice. If arrest for a non-recordable offence is necessary for any other reasons, this power may also be exercised at the station. Before the power is exercised, the officer should:

• inform the person of the nature of the suspected offence and why they are suspected of committing it.

• give them a reasonable opportunity to establish their real name before deciding that their name is unknown and cannot be readily ascertained or that there are reasonable grounds to doubt that a name they have given is their real name.

• as applicable, inform the person of the reason why their name is not know and cannot be readily ascertained or of the grounds for doubting that a name they have given is their real name, including, for example, the reason why a particular document the person has produced to verify their real name, is not sufficient.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hold on . . .

Meant to say: as amended in 2011.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hold on . . .

At which point you can (and I hope will) bring M'Learned friends. Anyway having seen the particular technology in use, and having suggested it is shit, unreliable, and leaves a 'bobby' without a useful hand, wot would I kno?

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Before the power is exercised, the officer should:

and there is the problem, should, not must, is legally obliged to.

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Re: Hold on . . .

There was that column by a police officer in the papers. If you *are* arrested, it's up to someone to decided whether a conviction or somesuch is likely. Asking for a solicitor, and doing what they advise, is the best way to make that person's job more difficult and make it more unlikely for any conviction/further action to be taken.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

And presumably no permanent centralised record will be kept of all the fingerprints casually taken from innocent people on the streets.

We can hope?

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Anonymous Coward

no DNA will be kept on record from those not convicted of a crime

Yes, we can REALLY trust the Met on THAT one. Even now after the European Court has told them to delete it, they are refusing. What the hell can we expect from a finger print database.

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Holmes

Re: no DNA will be kept on record from those not convicted of a crime

How about tracking of Known criminals...or if your body is blown up by a suicide bomber....your body could be identified by a single finger.

Information is not always a bad thing...unless your a bad person or proper controls are not followed.

today's society is getting more volatile....society either addresses if or lets it play out...in that case...you better be ready to fend for yourself.

btw...not all police are bad....just as not all citizens are bad. There are bad people in every profession.....doctors, lawyers, teachers. etc. Don't be dumb enough to think otherwise. Keep in mind that on a daily basis...most police may deal with the worst of society multiple times. You only have to deal with the police on occasion. Be respectful and you will receive the same.

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Big Brother

Re: no DNA will be kept on record from those not convicted of a crime

@GotThumb sez "btw...not all police are bad" No they are not. They are however, the ones we trust with the power to take away our liberty. That power requires a higher standard of behavior that seems lacking in too many cases.

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Oh hey, not a problem

http://www.signalbuster.com/Scripts/default.asp

"What was that, Mister Plod? Your internet is broken?"

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Re: Oh hey, not a problem

So to stop yourself being fingerprinted when you're stopped and searched while not guilty of a crime, you use an illegal jammer that the police find when they stop and search you.

Net result, you're marched off to the station, fingerprinted anyway, and charged with causing interference under the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 2006 - an offence punishable with an unlimited fine and up to two years' imprisonment.

Nice!

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Re: Oh hey, not a problem

Oh please.

You think the average copper could tell an illegal jammer from a jar of Marmite?

I suggest you may be mistaken.

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Anonymous Coward

Yet another reason...

...to avoid London, not because I'm a crim, but because I'm innocent.

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Anonymous Coward

you can refuse...

....I actually carry a miniature camera with me now so that I can record the police and any lies they may tell.

So far I have been told by them that it's illegal to record them and that I could be arrested under the counter terrorism laws. My response was, this video has just been uploaded to YouTube and Facebook.

Strangely I wasn't arrested, and was free to go

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Alert

Re: you can refuse... Signed...Anonymous Coward.

Nuff Said.

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Big Brother

"The police said...

"...fingerprints scanned by MobileID kit are not retained after the check has been run."

Yet...

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Big Brother

prints not retained

While the prints themselves are not retained, if they match someone's file will the file be flagged to show a scan was matched to that file on such and such a date ot such and such a time for such and such reason?

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Speaking as someone who's been mugged in the past

I'm awfully glad I don't have to be afraid of the police having my fingerprints on file. I can't imagine how I'd ever be able to deal with something like that. Getting my ass beat and my wallet lifted doesn't even begin to compare to the suffering I'm sure I'd go through to know that I can be identified by law enforcement...

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Holmes

"The pocket tools allow officers to fingerprint a suspect while on the beat"

So they're all just going to sit in a cupboard gathering dust then.

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Big Brother

Suspects Fingerprints.

If the police suspect someone of a crime, then they can already arrest them on that suspicion and take their fingerprints.

While the original intent may have been to quickly ID suspects, it is quite conceivable that this device will find more use as a police fishing tool. Or as a means to provide an excuse to arrest someone.

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Holmes

Re: Suspects Fingerprints.

"excuse to arrest someone."

You mean reason.

If someone HAS committed a crime...then shouldn't those tasked with enforcing the laws be able to do their job?

Only weak-minded fools who break the law...have something to fear in this.

The police are not going to be randomly grabbing people off the street and using this. Be realistic people.

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FAIL

Re: Suspects Fingerprints.

Only weak-minded fools who break the law...have something to fear in this.

or anyone stupid enough to, for example, attend a democratic peaceful protest.

And frankly those people are all criminals anyway, right? Right?

Like the filthy terrorists who use cameras in London!

Is that what you mean?

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Re: Suspects Fingerprints.

I'd been wondering how long GotThumbs would take until he trotted out "nothing to hide, nothing to fear". Nice to see we have another police apologist to join the usual suspects.

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xyz

A sort of person ANPR then

Cops stand at Charing X station exits, and pull a "random"** sample of people.

You choose whether to be checked or not * cough*

** Not White, Not in a suit

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NCIS (the US Navy one, not the one that got rolled into SOCA)

They've had these on NCIS for ages, though they seem to only use them for IDing corpses.

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Anonymous Coward

Freeman on the land

Refuse to stand under the rozzers and retain your sovereignty and free rights.

All this statute law rubbish just falls away and the police are left to defend the peace.

Best finish hear before I sound even more like aManfromMars

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Sovereignty

is what you can enforce.

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In the real world

Cops stop you on the street and say, "Excuse me sir/madam, we have had reports of a violent incident in the neighbourhood and a suspect known to us fled the scene who matches your description. Are you that person? No? Could you please provide us with a fingerprint?" After fingerprint taken. "Looks like you are not the person we are looking for. Sorry to have detained you, you are free to go."

Cops don't know the face of every crim on the street. They get told on the radio who to look for (name if they are lucky, most of the time a vague description) and they look for people mactching the description or who are nearby and might have seen something.

I speak from the experience of once being stopped on a sat night by two pretty police women looking into a pub brawl who very politely asked if I knew anything about it (I didn't) and if they could check my pockets for anything illegal, did I wisht to declare anything before they did so? After looking upset that my bag of sweets was empty (I am good and don't litter!) they let me go. This is pretty much similar to what the fingerprinting tech is for.

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Big Brother

Re: In the real world

Thank you Desk Jockey, for setting my mind at ease! So there's no potential for abuse, and it's for our protection, and, these machines are proven 100% reliable. I guess I am just too excitable.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/464344a.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the real world

You're sure they weren't actually a strippagram team having a laugh Desk Jockey?

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Unhappy

@desk jockey

you're already brainwashed. Did you not think to say "why do I need to let you check my pockets for anything illegal ?". The police only have the right to seach you if they state on what grounds.

So, what grounds were you given for the search. N.B. "We thought you might have been involved in the brawl" is NOT enough. Google "reasonable suspicion".

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Re: @desk jockey

Actually it was pretty reasonable. They never asked my name, they just asked where I had been and did not ask for further details. They asked for me to consent to turning out my pockets and I agreed happily enough because I did not have anything incriminating on me. (apart from 'copied' CDs but they did not look carefully). In short, they were polite and asked nicely. I responded in kind.

Sure there are bad coppers out there, but if you act like an arsehole then they will treat you as one! The secret with coppers is not to make yourself interesting to them. Act all gobby and they think you have something to hide. Even if you do have something to hide, be polite and apparently open and you might get away with it. I once drove down the wrong way of a one way street. I apologised sincerely to the copper, made a good sounding excuse (I did not know that road well at all) and he let me off. Believe it or not, they have more important things to do than hassling your arse with finger print scanners. If you are not the person they are looking for, they don't want to fill in the paperwork!

I have to admit, I did think the two policewomen were a set up. I kept looking around them for the 6 footer male cop. It turns out that Exeter is a reasonably safe place!

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Trollface

Re: @desk jockey

..."The secret with coppers is not to make yourself interesting to them."

Got it. Don't be black, or Mexican, or Middle-Eastern. Sage advice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the real world

@Desk Jockey. Let me guess, you're white.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @desk jockey

"They asked for me to consent to turning out my pockets and I agreed happily enough because I did not have anything incriminating on me."

What if you WERE carrying something of questionable legal status, or something illegal that you carry anyway because you think the law is an arse? Say, a Swiss knife that you use to repair your bicycle, or a pipe that you use to smoke some weed for personal consumption in a private residence (possibly even for medical reasons). What if you were carrying something perfectly legal like a bag full of sex-toys on your way to the local dominatrix dungeon and you simply did not want them to search you?

Are you that naive to think that they would have been so nice to you had you very politely, and entirely within your rights, refused your search because they did not have reasonable suspicion?

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Re: @desk jockey

"What if you WERE carrying something of questionable legal status, or something illegal that you carry anyway because you think the law is an arse? Say, a Swiss knife ..." I don't think carrying a penknife with a blade less than 3" long is illegal, or even questionable. Do you have a reference for your comment (because I want to know if I'm in danger of being arrested for having my Swiss Army knife on me at all times (except when flying, unfortunately))?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @desk jockey

In the UK, you need to be *very* *very* careful about what you think "legal" and "illegal" mean. With regard to penknifes, irrespective of blade length, it can still be construed as an offence to carry one, if a policeman thinks you are up to no good. Don't believe me ? Here

There is a disturbing trend (IMHO) for the police to use arrest and detention as extra-judicial punishments. Bear in mind that once arrested, your DNA and fingerprints are taken forever. If you plan to visit the US, it can bugger up your chances of getting a visa. And of course, irrespective of the outcome, you are now "known to police". So best of luck if you need a clean CRB for your job.

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Do they take fingerprints?

I though the scanners analysed for points of interest and this was matched against the database.

Can someone confirm this? Also that means that the scanners can only produce a 'likely match' which should be confirmed by visual confirmation of full prints.

I would point out that many criminals do not carry ID so they cannot be identified.

A dobule edged sword but one worth thinking about carefully.

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Blank Fingers

As a brickie who loves eating pineapples, they may have a problem with me. Nothing to read on MY thumbs!

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FAIL

Re: Blank Fingers

So you will be taken to the station instead. No problem. Next !

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