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High-tech fingerprint device helping capture criminals

A Police Detective explains to US Ambassador, Brent Hardt and Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee how the AFIS equipment works

The US-funded Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS) has already begun playing a major role in capturing suspected murderers and other criminals, according to Police Chief of Criminal Investigations, Senior Superintendent Leslie James.

The AFIS system here can be accessed by other participating countries of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) to help track criminals.

James told an official handing over of the equipment at Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Tuesday that since the introduction and testing of AFIS earlier this year, police have recorded 63 cases:  three murders, 53 break and enter and larceny, three simple larceny and four robbery under arms.

“This piece of equipment will take us a long way in our crime fight and from my report to you, it is clear that we have been having successes,” said the Head of CID.

American Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt said the AFIS would help crime sleuths and prosecutors arrest and convict persons who might have otherwise escaped the police net and at the same time boost public trust in both the justice system and the police force. “The AFIS system will assist law enforcement by providing empirical evidence of a criminal’s guilt.

The AFIS system will assist prosecutors in building solid cases against suspects, again by providing empirical evidence that will unequivocally tie criminals to a crime,” he said.

The CBSI was established following the Inaugural Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue held in Washington, DC on 27 May 2009. It comprises representatives of CARICOM Member States, the United States of America and the Dominican Republic.

Its objective is citizen security and aims to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, and money laundering as well as increase public safety and security and promote social justice through support and collaboration in areas such as Maritime and Aerial Security Cooperation; Law Enforcement Capacity Building; Border/Port Security and Firearms Interdiction; Justice Sector Reform;  Crime Prevention and At Risk Youth.