There’s a system that’s been around in this country since 2002 called the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) yet up until now it has remained largely behind the scenes due to setting the AFIS system up.
The R120-million system is supplied by France with the financial support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) but in order for it to become operational 4,5 million fingerprint cards had to be configured on the computer system.
At present, fingerprints are matched by manually searching through the 4,5 million recorded prints but AFIS will be able to match fingerprints within 48 hours as opposed to the approximate 40 working days it takes to do so manually.
One of the added advantages of AFIS is the ID Tool machine which is manufactured locally by a company called Face Technologies.
The ID Tool machine is a small mobile device which plugs directly into the AFIS database and is being used by the SAPS to identify wanted suspects and criminals. By placing a suspect’s finger on the tiny touch pad, police can find out if they are wanted for any crime in a matter of seconds.
This week the ID Tool Machine was in the news largely all thanks to the efforts of John Robbie of Radio 702. On Tuesday, John asked businesses to phone in and sponsor an ID Tool machine at a cost of R22 500 each.
Radio 702 wanted to try and get South African businesses to sponsor 20 machines in total but by the end of the show a total of 78 machines had been sponsored which in turn saved the SAPS a total of R1,775,000.
In a country where crime is a huge concern it’s a great to see technology, the SAPS and businesses taking the right steps in trying to make this a better country for all.
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