Fingerprinting In Australia

In 1901, Sam McCauley, Deputy Controller of Prisons and Inspector of Prisons in New South Wales, studied the use and classification of fingerprints at New Scotland Yard, and on his return, recommended that fingerprinting and classification under the Henry Fingerprint System be introduced to New South Wales gaols. In 1902, fingerprinting commenced and a fingerprint bureau was established in the Darlinghurst Gaol under the direction of McCauley. Following its successful introduction, it was recommended that the same system be introduced in the other states of Australia and in New Zealand.

In 1903, Senior Sergeant W H Childs of the New South Wales Police Force received training from Mr McCauley and also spent several weeks at the Darlinghurst Gaol bureau. In June 1903, approximately 6,000 copies of fingerprint impressions were handed over to the New South Wales Police Department by the Prisons Department. The New South Wales Police Fingerprint Bureau was established at the Detective's Office of Police Headquarters, with Senior Sergeant Childs as the Officer in Charge.

The other State fingerprint bureaus were commenced as follows: Victoria in 1903; South Australia in 1904; Queensland in 1904; Tasmania in 1912; Western Australia in 1928; Northern Territory in 1957; and the Australian Capital Territory in 1967. The Australian Federal Police Bureau was established in 1980.

On 1st April, 1941, the New South Wales Police Fingerprint Section commenced operations as the Central Fingerprint Bureau for the Commonwealth, with each State contributing financially towards the Bureau for the upkeep. With the advent of the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) in Australia in 1986, the Central Fingerprint Bureau became redundant and was dissolved in 1988.


From your notes and using internet resources your are to complete the following questions

1. Name the main types of fingerprints?

2. Outline how fingerprints are caused?

3. Do identical twins or family members have the same fingerprints? Explain

4. What is a latent fingerprint?

5. What colour powder should you use to dust fingerprints on i) dark surface ii) a light, glossy surface?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License