The National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) is a fingerprint and palm print database and matching system, which is used by police agencies to help solve crime and identify individuals by establishing a person’s identity from fingerprint and palm impressions. It is also used by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to support Australia’s migration program.
The database allows police to upload and search on fingerprint data obtained from an arrest point, or from evidence obtained at a crime scene in near ‘real time’. This makes it possible to identify a person of interest within minutes and link that identity to existing warnings, warrants or associated criminal activity information held within other police information reference systems. The database holds:
- TenPrint data—finger and palm print images collected from individuals by Australian police and immigration authorities, along with corresponding basic biographic information.
- Latent data—unsolved finger and palm print impressions recovered from crime scenes, which Australian police can search against.
The matching results achieved against this database have significantly improved the ability of police to solve crime across Australia. This helps police solve major and minor crimes by identifying a link between a person of interest and forensic evidence, leading to reduced investigation time and successful prosecutions due to accurate identification of individuals.
The NAFIS is the single national automated fingerprint system in Australia. It is available 24 hours, seven days a week to all Australian police agencies. It has been operational nationally since April 2001.