Preemptively fingerprinting your kids

September 15, 2006 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Parents in New Zealand have taken to having their children fingerprinted by police as a means of scaring their kids onto the straight and narrow. The fingerprints and palm prints added to a nationwide juvenile print database. According to Detective Inspector Malcolm Johnston, “We do take a lot of voluntary juvenile fingerprints. Feedback from parents is that it’s a wake-up call for the youths, and crime prevention.” Detective Johnston is in charge of the South Island’s crime prints and forensics team. He explained that a large number of burglaries and car thefts were committed by youths, so having this sort of forensic evidence on file is very important. Voluntary collection of fingerprints and palm prints is allowed by current law.

Apparently, earlier this year, there were an average of six cars stolen and seventeen cars broken into every day in the Canterbury district where Detective Johnston works. I suppose parents think a trip to the police station for fingerprinting on their terms is better than being called down to pick a kid after they’ve committed a crime. But would this really be a deterrent to teens who already think they know everything and think they can get away with anything? While I wouldn’t cover up for my kids if they broke the law, I’m not sure I would go out of my way to help the government track them either. Would you add your kids to such a government database? Do you think doing so would keep them out of trouble?

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Entry filed under: Authentication, Identity, Security.

Technology: tracking or trusting? Mandatory fingerprinting of European children

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