The search terms
Crime scenes contain a large amount of information for those who know where to look.
Sometimes there is more than one piece of evidence to be gained and fingerprint experts are available to advise Scenes of Crime Officers how to make the most of each piece of evidence.
For example if blood at the crime scene has a fingerprint in it, experts will advise on how to obtain both the fingerprint and the DNA.
The search teams’ fingerprint experts analyse the information within the prints, and compare them to those of known people.
Fingerprints can be compared in a variety of ways, including general search on IDENT1, comparisons with the fingerprints of someone arrested, the property's owner, or against a file of active thieves operating within the area.
There are two search teams, one responsible for the north and one for the south of the force area.
The majority of crimes are committed locally and fingerprint officers each specialise in a different geographical area so they can become familiar with the habits of the local criminals.
This expert knowledge means that in approximately 30 per cent of cases the officer can identify a range of suspects without resorting to the national database.