- Use fingerprint technology to help the police identify people
- You'll need good attention to detail, accuracy and a methodical approach
- You may need to work at crime scenes and with the deceased so will need to be able to cope with this
As a fingerprint officer you'll work with others in the police to process and identify prints.
- Comparing crime scene prints with those of suspects
- Scanning police fingerprint forms into the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System
- Comparing fingerprints against the National Fingerprint Database to produce a list of likely matches
- Analysing prints and marks to uncover links between crime scenes
- Eliminating prints found at the scene of people not under suspicion
- Classifying records and maintaining fingerprint databases
- Preparing evidence statements and presenting evidence in court
- Attending crime scenes to offer specialist advice
- Getting fingerprint samples from the deceased at the morgue
- You might also be involved in mentoring and developing trainee fingerprint officers
You'll usually work 37 hours a week, including shifts, weekends and an on-call rota. You'll spend most of your time in a laboratory or at the service's fingerprint bureau. Aspects of your work could be distressing or unpleasant and your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
This role would be ideal for someone with a patient and methodical approach, organisational skills, excellent attention to detail, a logical approach to solving problems, keyboard and IT skills, and the ability to prioritise and manage your workload.
Each police service sets its own entry requirements, but to start as a trainee fingerprint officer you'll find it useful to have 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including maths, English and a science subject, A levels or equivalent qualifications and experience of working in the police, analytical work or work involving attention to detail. Police services will carry out checks into your background and employment history. This might also include checking on your close family members.
You could give yourself an advantage by doing a relevant degree in forensic science, criminology, applied science, chemistry and biology.
With experience you could become a scenes of crime officer (SOCO). With further training you could move into forensic science or become a criminal intelligence officer.