Official sources have confirmed that St. Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda, have been selected to be the first two nations to be linked to an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) that is being established for the countries that are part of the Regional Security System, RSS.
While the two countries were identified as the pioneering states to be placed on line, in due course, police in the other OECS nations will also be connected to the AFIS.
According to a source involved in the project, in St. Kitts & Nevis, this new system would allow local police detectives to access critical information in real time, therefore speeding up the process of gathering data to aid their investigations.
The source said that it would assist police in terms of communicating with their counterparts within the region and internationally, because they would be able to put the information in the system, and if the suspects are in the data base they would be able access the details much sooner.
It was also revealed that some officers have already received training, while others are soon to benefit, as the St. Kitts and Nevis Police Force prepares to maximize the benefits of the program.
Over in Antigua, that country’s National Security Minister, Dr. Errol Cort, also confirmed what has been shared in St. Kitts, but going on to state that the system will be introduced as a prototype and the two countries will be able to link and share in the data. He said that funding has been secured from the US Clinical Documentation Improvement, (CDI), Program.
The AFIS is a computer system for matching fingerprints taken at the scene of a crime with fingerprints in a computerized data-base. Though it will be used in the detection of all types of crime, security officials are especially hoping that it could better their chances of finding those engaged in major violent crimes, such as murder. Authorities are hoping the new system could be in place by the end of September or shortly thereafter.