Identification of individuals

Automated fingerprint comparison (Photo: fedpol)
Automated fingerprint comparison (Photo: fedpol)

Crucial to the work of federal, cantonal and communal police forces, the Border Guard Corps, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is the swift and unequivocal identification of people. Various biometric data can be used for identification: fingerprints, prints of the ball of the thumb or the side of the hand, and DNA profiles. The Biometric Identification Division at fedpol analyses these prints with the aid of AFIS, an automated fingerprint identification system, and CODIS, a DNA database. The above-mentioned authorities rely on the Biometric Identification Division to help identify both living and deceased persons. DNA technology can also connect a crime scene profile to a DNA database reference profile, thereby identifying a previously unknown crime suspect.

100 Years of Fingerprinting

100 years of fingerprinting

Fingerprinting is the oldest biometric means of identifying people and has therefore always played a key role in solving crime.

This brochure, published on the centenary of the introduction of fingerprinting in Switzerland, highlights the background, the history and the methodology of this form of identification.

Here you can find the solutions to the puzzles in the brochure “The Fingerprint – One Hundred Years in the Service of the Swiss Confederation”.

Last modification 08.06.2020

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