Nationwide trials begin of police mobile fingerprint readers

The police will soon be equipped with mobile fingerprint readers which they can use to scan fingerprints and check identities on the spot, Trouw reports on Wednesday.

The machines, which resemble a mobile phone, will be issued to forces all over the country as part of efforts to catch and deport illegal immigrants, the paper says.
The machines will have direct access to data banks where the fingerprints of immigrants are stored to make sure people are legally in the country, the paper says.

Reasonable grounds

A spokesman for the justice ministry told the paper that the police must have reasonable grounds to make identity checks.
‘It is part of normal police work. Fingerprints can be checked on the spot, rather than at a police station,’ he said. ‘It reduces bureaucracy, keeps officers on the street and helps you with your detective work.’
Trials of the machine continue until next spring.
The paper says British police officers have been using mobile fingerprint readers since 2006. They have been criticised for disproportionately checking Asian and Afro-Caribbean people.