Heard on Cape Talk

JOHN MAYTHAM 15 February 2011 3:30 PM
Fingerprints in databases
John got an email from a listener who was recently burgled at home. He lamented the fact that because all their household items were insured, the police were very lax in taking fingerprints at the scene or investigate the matter further. He also asks “why a criminal first have to be apprehended before his fingerprints does get uploaded and available in the police’s fingerprint database? Why can’t existing fingerprints be used so as to trace any person?” Fingerprints of all South African citizens who hold a valid driver’s licence are already stored on a database. This will either be on the eNATIS system or the database system used by Prodiba. Personal details as well as a photograph are stored with the specific fingerprint as well as which finger was used for the print. Vanessa Lynch says legislation was passed in March last year making it possible for police to use the extended fingerprint database to solve crimes. It was passed un-opposed, and the next chapter is getting laws passed that would enable police to use a DNA database for crime.
Guest: Vanessa Lynch
Organisation: DNA Project
Position: Founder, Executive Director

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