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WHY BURGLARS ARE WEARING GLOVES.

'■!' THE WONDERS OF SCIENCE AT. ■ : ;„ SCOTLAND YARD. ;, . One of the wonders of modern detective science, the finger-print system of the de- ■' tection of criminals, is enshrined at Scotland •, Yard in a big . business-like room lined with cupboards. In those cupboards 'are stored away records by which, within -'"». space of five, minutes, any one among . sens of thousands of people can be identi- '" '• :-ied. Ten men arc attached to the depart-, ment of which the big room.is the head- ./; quarters, and those ten men arc engaged " ' '.' day "by day in preparing and- classifying those deadly records from which no cri- ",, minal," however clever in disguise, can * . hope to escape. ' '■' The most skilful and ingenious burglar Mi but to put his hand incautiously on a. window-sash as be gets away with his ■ booty and the next morning he is a known man. No wonder criminals are taking to gloves.; it is their only chance. "'" ■ HOW. , THE SYSTEM WORKS. t The lines on the hand never alter. And • -is on that .remarkable fact that Sir Edward Henry, Chief Commissioner of Police, has built up that system of fingerpi hit detection the amazing results, of .which -occasionally came to light in the ': newspapers. ' .' . '§■ : -n Each of the great London prisons is i ; 'equipped - with apparatus for taking 'finger prints. When the system was first instituted one of the commissioner's lieutenants from, the Yard went round to the various prisons and carefully instructed ;./ the officials in the methods of taking the ; m prints. * '.'.„*"- r At-the present time it is in the prisons -that the finger prints, of which one hears '. 'so much, are taken. Thev arc taken JbH her... by. the prison officials or by ex>"perls' who come from Scotland Yard on .' .purpose. ■."•'.■•■ . ~ To illustrate how the system works, it is best to take a sample case. A man is ■ arrested on a charge of organising a, big jewel robbery in the West End. ► He is .'remanded and sent to. Brixton Prison for. •i, week. ; , .. : :'■'■: '-..'The authorities have some doubt ,as to '(,Whether.or, not he was . connected with a. .- ... ~ tensational crime of two years, before. Ac- ■■• 'fordinglj', his finger prints are taken at w ■ ! the prison. A little slab, some nine inches long and three inches wide, with a smooth' surface, is thinly coated with a ' ' fecial ink- „ (1 . -,-,.-.-. •'. . € - "■' The expert then .takes one hand ol the . " prisoner, places. tne finger of the hand ! sideways on the slab* and turns it steadily -round until the .finger tip from ; one side ~,o£<the nail to the other is coated with.; 1 ' ;-sh3 rink. Then the inked finger is shifted i 'to a sheet of foolscap in readiness. '. The. upper part of the foolscap contains the prisoner's name and .other particulars .'■: . •about him. The lower part is ruled off ~-i;,to divisions'for impressions of the fin-' *, gars and the thumbs'. •- In each'division is indicated the finger or thumb it represents. The inked finger :.<: is carefully turned in its particular division, and an impression of the lines is .thus left upon the paper. :•• And by this simple means ife formed the record from which no person who has '.'.', • passed ' through prison for a serious, of- , "fence'.can hope to escape. •';'-•; ft;: i The record is sent to Scotland Yard, i •where some of, the experts examime it, ' note its. main characteristics, turn to the class to which it belongs, and find out whether they have in their possession an ~. identical print'taken at the time of the other crime two years before. But this is not the only use of the finger prints. A murder' takes place in a lonely house one night and the murderer I' ■:■ gets clear s 'awayl The next days before a ■\ * ; thing is touched Scotland Yard experts Jr " • ure-examining with magnifying glasses live doors,.-, the windows, the bed posts, 1 floor, the walls, and, indeed, every •-if-cesaible square inch .of surface within ; ft!ie death' chamber.'.' ~ k - They are indeed like bloodhounds on the trail. Presently, after perhaps two ;hours' work, they find that for which :%V;rJney; are in search. It is the half obliter- ; ' ated impression 'of a finger 'print on the bed post. ,By, ingenious means which f,"';, renders that faulty impression available * for the- camera'they, .obtain photographs of.it.- Those photographs aref taken, to i \ Scotland Yard. - Here-the main points of the print arc' ": . carefully noted, and" the class to which,its map-like traceries belong is taken from ;.'.'• one of .those high'cupboards, and withinfive minutes Scotland Yard knows whether #V -the. murderer of the night before is a known criminal or a man' who has not ;'i- passed through prison.

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WHY BURGLARS ARE WEARING GLOVES. New Zealand Herald, Volume XLV, Issue 13757, 23 May 1908, Supplement

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