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Solving Canadian Cold Cases: Palm Print Database Under Development
02-17-2013, 05:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-17-2013, 05:39 PM by thokling.)
Solving Canadian Cold Cases: Palm Print Database Under Development
Quote:Palm prints may hold key to cold cases
By Alison Crawford, CBC News | Posted: Feb 15, 2013 4:31 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 15, 2013 4:25 PM ET

Police have high hopes a new forensic database could help crack some cold cases.

Next month, the RCMP will expand its fingerprint database to include palm prints. Palms contain just as much unique identifying information as people's fingertips and police say they find palm prints at up to 30 per cent of all crime scenes.

Supt. Alain Bouchard, director of the RCMP's integrated forensic identification services in Ottawa, says police often lift palm prints from ledges, doorknobs, patio doors, paper and weapons such as knives or bats.

Lifting his hands up to his face, Bouchard demonstrates why it's so common to find impressions from the sides of people's palms on windows, "I find them very often at break and enters, what we call the writer's palm, when people are actually looking inside the residence to see if anybody's home."

While analysts can map all the creases, islands and lines of someone's palm, the prints' usefulness have been limited by technology. Canadian police have been able to upload, search and match fingerprints through a computerized criminal fingerprint database for decades, but up until now, there has been no similar way to match palm prints.

"Previous years we had no way of searching palm prints. As you can just imagine, if you were to send palm prints here it would just be sitting in a box. If we wanted to identify a palm print we needed basically a suspect. Someone would come to me and say, 'I think its Joe and here's Joe's palm print' and we'd do a comparison at my desk."

That will change next month when 26 police services across Canada will be able to submit and search for palm prints. The database will be small at first, only containing fresh prints scanned in from people who have just been charged with a crime. But the RCMP is encouraging police to send in palm impressions found at old crime scenes.

The Mounties alone will begin re-processing thousands of palm prints linked to cold cases across Canada, starting with unsolved murders.

More of the article is available at the above link, and other sources of data can be found with a Web search for: rcmp palm print

This system has apparently already been in place since 2007 in government divisions for non-criminal persons under the CCRTIS (Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services) monicker. The RCMP Real Time Identification system was planned to improve the efficiency of the CCRTIS by converting paper and legacy systems to more modern processes.

Although February 2011 saw Assistant Commissioner Peter Henschel, of the RCMP Forensic Science and Identification Services division, advising Parliament that many systems still required manual processing, with adequate changes to the processing policies and procedures the cold cases, and indeed new cases as Canada's population grows, would benefit greatly.

More data on the above info can be found with a Web search for ccrtis rtid, or either of the terms.
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