The idea that fingerprints could be used as a means of personal identification was first put forward by Sir William Herschel, District Magistrate of Hooghly District, of Bengal province in 1858. Later, Dr. Henry Faulds, An English doctor in Tokyo, Japan gave the idea of tracing a criminal from the latent prints found at the scene of crime in 1880 and came to the conclusion that no two fingerprints are alike. Based on the idea of Herschel and Faulds, Sir Francis Galton, the renowned English Scientist established scientifically the basic principles of uniqueness and permanency in Finger Prints. It was then that Sir Edward Richard Henry, the Inspector General of Police, Lower Bengal with the able assistance of two Indian officers namely, Khan Bahadur Azizul Haque and Rai Bahadur Hemchandra Bose, developed a system of classification of fingerprints, thereby discarding the anthropometric system of identification. The first ever Finger Print Bureau in the world was established at Writer's Building at Calcutta (now Kolkata) in the year 1897.


“Justice through Science”

Andhra Pradesh Finger Print Bureau was established in the year 1959 through GO Ms No.308 Home (Police, B) Dept., dated 6th Feb., 1959. Subsequently, 18 District Finger Print Units were established in all Districts/Comissionarates head quarters under the modernization of Police Forces in a phased manner between the periods 1971 to 2010.

Finger Print Bureau functions under the administrative control of the Addl. Director General of Police, CID, A.P., and under the technical control of Director, Finger Print Bureau, CID, A.P., Mangalagiri

The main objective of the Finger Print Bureau (FPB) is collecting and maintaining a large number of FP Records and using them for Criminal Identification. The Ten Digit Finger Prints are being maintained in the Bureau for the purpose of establishing identification of a criminal, past criminal history of a suspect and identifying the criminals by chance Finger Prints located at the Scenes of Crime. At present the FPB is having 7.65 lakh fingerprint records and 88,500 Unsolved Chance Prints in the database of Automated Fingerprint Identification System - Papillon system.


State Finger Print Bureau (SFPB) possesses records of Finger Print slips of criminals convicted within the state and also of those who, being bona-fide residents of the State exercised their Modus Operandi outside the state.

In the Ten Digit Collection, FP Slips of those persons convicted for the offences mentioned in order No: 769 of A.P.P.M Part-I are maintained according to classification wise. The Henry System of Classification has been adopted for the working of the Ten Digit System.

  1. Furnishing criminal antecedents, providing the background of any individual detained under suspicious circumstances.
  2. Tracing of out-of-view criminals.
  3. Establishing the identity of unidentified dead bodies.
  4. Identifying of accused persons from the records maintained.
  5. Identifying of criminals through Chance Prints lifted from Scenes of Crime.
  6. Assisting in apprehending proclaimed offenders, absconders and persons who escaped from prisons.
  7. Giving opinion on Documents bearing disputed finger prints referred by various Courts, Financial Institutions and Investigating Agencies.
  8. Imparting training to Police Officers.

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)


Automation of finger print identification has been done in Andhra Pradesh in July 1999 by a system software named FACTS (Fingerprint Analysis and Criminal Tracing System) developed by CMS Limited. AP FPB has strengthened its abilities in identification of criminals by newly procured AFIS from Papillon since August 2017.

AFIS (Papillon) Functionality:


AFIS provides computerized database of digitized finger prints that are searchable through software and it can store millions of print images of finger prints. AFIS-Papillon providing dual system of comparison i.e., finger and palm print comparison and it can get high accurate results with less time for the input given by the finger print expert. Papillon AFIS yields results with high speed in matching of chance prints not only with ten prints database but also along with palm prints, plain prints of each record and unsolved chance finger & palm prints. It has option for give an alert whenever OV/Wanted criminal is traced and high reliability in identifying unknown dead bodies. Provision for finger print live scanners facilitates setup good quality fingerprint database and it leads to effective criminal tracing system. 18 Remote Query workstations located at each District/Comissionarate are connected to the AFIS central server located at SFPB, Mangalagiri, Guntur District.

The phrase “Nature never duplicates” renowned the uniqueness of finger prints and basic principles of finger print science established by Sir Francis Galton flourish the finger print science in law enforcement that are V.I.P. (Variety,Immutability, Permanency). The finger print science and its technical advancements hopefully enrich the investigation to the next level and improve the effectiveness of Policing.

“Each Individual is as individual as their Fingerprints”