Lincolnshire Police will become one of the first forces in England to have all its fingerprints go digital, speeding up the tracking of offenders.
The county force joined Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Police last year to form EMSOU-Forensic Services and half a million fingerprint paper records from the three forces will be scanned.
Head of the EMSOU Regional Identification Bureau Ian Gledhill said: “We at EMSOU-FS have already proved that digitisation enables us to make identifications within minutes of a print being taken from a crime scene, increasing the prospect of tracing the offender.
“If this process is replicated nationally, it would be of huge benefit to all investigative police officers, offering a database of millions of accessible fingerprint records from across the country.”
Paper records will be destroyed to save storage costs once they have been transferred into digital format by Northgate Public Services.
Northgate’s service director Gary Headland said the move will allow officers to collaborate more effectively with their colleagues.
He said: “Connecting forensic information with other policing information is key to making it more effective in supporting investigation and bringing offenders to justice.”
Northgate will do the work over the next few weeks.