IDENT1 is the single, searchable database for the UK mainland for finger and palm print data. It is the culmination of several years work by the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) and the former Scottish Fingerprint Service.
In Scotland, police have the power to take forensic data samples from anyone who has been arrested or who is detained on suspicion of committing or having committed an offence. In England and Wales this applies to anyone arrested for a recordable offence. Fingerprints or palm prints are taken and entered onto the database.
Fingerprints taken by the police from a person they suspect of committing a crime are normally referred to as 'tenprints'. Tenprints are rolled impressions of a person's ten fingerprints taken under controlled conditions, normally at a police office. Crime scene marks are the impressions left inadvertently at crime scenes or on objects associated with crimes.
Instead of searching crime scene marks against a Scottish database of 360,000 tenprints, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) can search against a national database of 6.5 million tenprints, providing the potential for more identification.
The national database gives UK Police greater power to identify people involved in cross border crimes. In addition, the SPA has a serious crime section. All tenprints submitted are automatically searched against unidentified marks held in the serious crime area. There is also a national database of palm prints, allowing the storage and searching of palm prints across the entire UK mainland.
You can find more information on IDENT1 on the SPA and Home Office websites.