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AFIS Launch Heralds Warning To Criminals

Minister of Police Hon. George Hawkins has warned criminals that if they leave a fingerprint behind they will be nabbed.

George Hawkins issued the warning while launching a major upgrade to the Automatic Fingerprint Information System [AFIS].

AFIS is a new fingerprinting system that scans a fingerprint and then digitally compares it with others stored on a national database.

"Police have collected and stored on the database more than 420,000 fingerprints. This upgrade means Police can search that database in a fraction of the time. Police can now get a match within minutes. This means more crimes will be solved," George Hawkins said.

"Burglary is all too common in New Zealand. And people in Counties Manukau face their share of crooks. This new fingerprinting system will go along way toward identifying who the criminals are.

"Also, Counties Manukau will soon have M.A.P.S. – the Map-based Analytical Profiling System. It will also be nationwide before the end of the year. M.A.P.S. enables police to detect patterns of crime within communities and displays the gathered intelligence on crimes and criminals in a visual way. It has been trialed successfully in the Wellington District.

"These projects and the legislative programme that the Government has planned will provide police with the tools necessary to address burglary crimes as a priority and to investigate this criminal activity within the context of the criminal culture that unfortunately is all too active within our communities.

"My message is clear, this Government and the Police are determined to catch criminals. And as Police Minister I am committed to providing the Police with the tools necessary to gather information on active criminals and to prosecute where crimes have occurred," George Hawkins said.

ENDS

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