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Delhi cops to have fingerprinting equipment to boost probe

Delhi cops to have fingerprinting equipment to boost probe
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Delhi Police is all set to procure a cyanoacrylate fuming cabinet for safe and controlled development of latent fingerprints, in order to improve its investigative capabilities.

Delhi Police is all set to procure a cyanoacrylate fuming cabinet for safe and controlled development of latent fingerprints, in order to improve its investigative capabilities.


Latent fingerprints are impressions on a surface which are not visible to the naked eye, caused by perspiration derived from sweat pores in the ridges of the fingers.

"A cyanoacrylate fuming chamber provides a controlled environment for processing latent fingerprints on most non-porous surfaces while eliminating exposure to hazardous fumes," said a senior official at the Finger Print Bureau of Delhi Police.

Cyanoacrylate, popular as super glue, can bring to fore latent prints which could not be seen even after applying magnetic fingerprint powder, said the official, adding that cyanoacrylate fuming method also does not alter or destroy prints, which happens many a time after the application of finger print brush.

Also, finger prints are extremely fragile and whatever left of them can dry out very fast in high temperatures with low humidity. Fuming can also preserve fingerprints on some surfaces, said the official.

A medium capacity cyanoacrylate fuming cabinet will cost Delhi Police around Rs 37.50 lakh. "Once it starts functioning, a smaller version shall be ordered for the Crime Branch," said the senior official.

Purchase of the cyanoacrylate fuming cabinet is also expected to be followed by the induction of vacuum fuming chambers which use the same technique for developing latent prints especially designed for fuming rifles and shotguns under controlled conditions.

"The vacuum fuming chamber will especially be helpful in cases in which arms are recovered," said the senior official. Fuming method has the potential to extract latent fingerprints from central shelves, railings, hangers, baskets, trolleys and a wide range of things. It is also very useful in extracting finger prints from rubber surfaces and paper documents.

The fuming chamber will be useful in a wide variety of investigations ranging from a murder to burglaries, like the infamous burglary case at Holy Child Auxilium for which Delhi Police had sent fingerprint samples to CBI and fingerprint bureaus in all states and UTs.

It would also help in probing white-collar crimes involving exchange of secret documents like the corporate espionage case in which the police had recovered 168 confidential documents related to several ministries, the official said.

Finger prints are classified into patent prints, plastic prints and latent prints. Unlike the third, patent and plastic prints are visible in nature.

While patent prints occur when a substance (say ink or blood) on the fingers come into contact with a surface, plastic prints occur when a finger touches a malleable surface (say a soap or chocolate bar) resulting in an indentation, said the senior official, adding that latent prints always give a hard time to investigators.
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