UV light is being used to better identify fingerprints.

The technique was introduced at the Counter Terrorism Expo in London. It enables forensic expert to take fingerprints from thermal paper which was previously not possible. This is hoped to help with the identification of fraud and financial crime.

Another technique was previously created where they tried to see fingerprints by applying heat. However, this did not work on some types of paper used in the US and China. The new method works in conjunction with the previous which has been commercialised as the Hot Print System (HPS).

John Bond, of the University of Leicester, who developed the device said:

This new technology offers a new way of easily looking for fingerprints on an increasing source of paperwork that criminals are likely to handle when committing a variety of offences. The light source provides non-invasive and speculative examination of thermal paper and can be carried out very quickly with the minimum of training to locate fingerprints. The HPS can then be used to develop the fingerprint to enable capture as a digital image and if development with the HPS is faint, the light source can be used to illuminate faint prints to enhance digital capture.

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