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WIRING FINGER PRINTS.

SCOTLAND YARD CODE,

The London "Times" understands that the system by which finger prints of criminals can be telegraphed to all parts of the world has just been put to a highly successful test by the London police. Two men were arrested in London on a charge of being suspected persons, and they were brought before the magistrate at Bow-street and remandled for inquiries. It was known that one of the men was a thief who had been convicted in Australia, and liis record was well known at Scotland Yard. With regard to the other man, the police knew nothing about him, and lie himself declared that ho was not acting in concert with the first prisoner, and in fact was a complete stranger to him. He asserted that he was an honest man and had never been in trouble before. The police, however, felt convinced that his protestations of innocence were false, and it was therefore decided to take his finger impressions. They did not correspond with those of any criminal whose records are at Scotland Yard, so it was clear that he had not been convicted in England. The authorities, by means of a special code devised by Superintendent Collins, j chief of the Central Finger Print Bureau, Xew Scotland Yard, telegraphed the complete set of his ten fingers to the chief of police at Sydney. On i the following morning a reply was re- ; : ceived from the Sydney police giving j I a complete list of the previous convic- j j tions recorded in Australia against the man whoso finger prints had been j i sent to them by telegraph. j Later both men were brought up on remand *at Bow Street, and a detective officer in charge of the case informed ! the magistrate that the man who had j so vehemently declared his innoccnce bad been identified by his finger-prints ] as having been previously convicted in ' Australia. The man was so absolutely ! | staggered by this evidence and the comj plete accuracy of its details that he ! readily confessed his identity. The magistrate sentenced both men to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour. It is about ten- years since Superintendent Collins, who is the greatest expert in finger-prints in the world, invented a code for telegraphing formulae jf sets of finger prints ,and this is the first occasion on which it has been put to the test. Its complete success is regarded by the Scotland Yard authorities as a highly gratifying achievement. The code consists of letters and figures, each of which indicates particular ridge characteristics, and was devised for use when an urgent inquiry of identification several thousand miles away was found to be necessary. It is likely that in this first finger-print code telegram about CO letters and figures were used to describe the suspect's finger impressions. The code letters are used for types of patterns, such as arches, radial loops, ulnar loops, central pockets, whorls, twined loops, compound patterns, etc. Even "finger amputated" and "finger damaged, scarred, yields imperfect impressions," have their own code letters, while figures are used to denote various classes of ridges. The code was circulated some years ago to the police of all countries, and has been" officially adoptee 1 by all of them.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NA19250108.2.51

Bibliographic details

Northern Advocate, Northern Advocate, 8 January 1925

Word Count
547

WIRING FINGER PRINTS. Northern Advocate, 8 January 1925

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