Monday, May 15, 2006

Critical report leaked on Scottish fingerprinting errors

Shirley McKie
A report has been leaked into errors in fingerprinting which led to a murderer going free and a policewoman being wrongly prosecuted for perjury (thanks, Dave!). Former Tayside deputy chief constable James Mackay and former detective chief superintendent Scott Robertson were highly critical of the SCRO:

Mr Mackay believed that after an initial mistake "there prevailed a culture and mindset to preserve the reputation of individuals" within the Scottish Criminal Record Office (SCRO) followed by "a criminal course of action which disregarded the consequences and the impact on others".

The documents confirm the belief of Mr Mackay and Mr Robertson that certain SCRO staff refused to correct initial errors in their identifications of the fingerprints. The experts at the centre of the claims, which have never been tested in court, deny the allegations.

Mistakes led Ms McKie, a former Strathclyde police officer, to be wrongly identified as having entered a murder scene, and the man convicted of that murder was set free.

So much for "foolproof" biometrics such as fingerprinting, and their use in UK identity cards…

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