Criminals go to great lengths to stay out of prison and in this article from Planet Biometrics we learn that Massachusetts police have seen an increasing number of self-mutilations:
“The number of criminals trying to hide their identities by burning, hacking and mutilating their fingerprints is skyrocketing in Massachusetts.
Local law enforcement continues to see the number rise even as the FBI has targeted Massachusetts as an altered fingerprint hot spot, US media reports.
Massachusetts State Police officials have identified 867 suspects arrested with deliberately altered fingerprints — most within the past few years, according to GopUSA The first three cases were logged in 2002, and by 2010 only 72 arrests were recorded.
Year-by-year breakdowns were not available, but since 2010, police have made 795 altered-fingerprint arrests, according to state police spokesman David Procopio.
The FBI flagged the Bay State as ground zero for criminal fingerprint erasures after studying records of altered prints across the nation, finding that, “Mass- achusetts officials had the most encounters with individuals who had altered fingerprints,” according to a 2014 FBI report.
Those include arrests made by local police in Boston, Lawrence and other cities, as well as by state police.
‘On the tip of every finger were scars damaging each print’ wrote Salem police officer James Bedard in a June 4 arrest report of a man that police were unable to properly identify.’This officer is aware that criminals alter/destroy their fingerprints to avoid detection by Law Enforcement Agencies.’ “
There are at least two takeaways here. First, this demonstrates in a terrible way why multifactor biometrics are important and highlights the fact that not all biometrics are equal. I wonder what criminals would do to alter their voice print or iris? The second observation; clearly I would make a terrible criminal!
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group