The police are planning to adopt a computer system that will identify the footwear used by criminals. The police expect to add the system to their fingerprint and DNA detection databases.
When the new system is ready, it will search through records of the patterns of soles found at crime scenes with those on the footwear of suspects. The pilot system is being developed for the police by the University of Sheffield.
Home Office figures show that almost 15% of crime scenes threw up shoe print evidence in 2004/2005. The Serious Organised Crime Police Act 2005 now also gives police the power to take shoe prints from suspects.
The system works by capturing images of shoeprints left at crime scenes, and matching these images taken in custody suites. A roll-out date for the new detection database has so far not been announced.