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Lesson 3: Fingerprint Training

Training Material


Material for a 3-hour lesson, part of the Border Police Course, developed by the Kosovo Police Service School

Target group
South-Eastern Europe
border control, border policing, fingerprinting, identification


Establishing the identity of a suspect or a victim is one of the most important purposes of physical evidence. The most positive means of identifying people is through fingerprints. Fingerprints form on a person before birth and remain unchanged throughout life. With few exceptions, everyone has fingerprints. In this lesson, the term fingerprints includes all types of prints, including finger, palm, toe, and the sole of the foot. Locating and preserving fingerprints is one of the most important responsibilities of a Forensic Technician when processing a crime scene. You as KPS Investigators must be aware of what the FTs can achieve using forensic technology.

One of the most valuable clues at the scene of a crime are fingerprints. Fingerprints are markings that are left on a surface by a human hand and have the same markings as the skin of the fingers. Skin and ridge patterns are unique to each person. Unless their hands are covered with gloves or some other form of protection while committing a crime, criminals cannot avoid leaving clues in the form of fingerprints. Prints may be left when criminals take hold of an object or support themselves with their hands. Fingerprints sometimes appear in the form of a highly visible substance, such as: blood, grease, oil, or ink.

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the police officers to the value of fingerprints and the importance they serve in identifying a suspect. The KPS officers will learn various types, patterns, characteristics, and classifications of fingerprints, as well as, the different techniques that are used to develop and preserve them. The task of developing, preserving and comparing fingerprints will belong to the KPS Forensic Technicians.

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the three (3) advantages of Fingerprint Identification.
  2. List the three (3) types of fingerprints and their life expectancy.
  3. Name five (5) errors that frequently occur when recording rolled impressions.
  4. State at least three (3) ways of describing fingerprint patterns.
  5. Name at least three (3) classification designations of fingerprint patterns.
  6. State at least three (3) Points of Comparison.
  7. Identify five (5) techniques used to develop latent fingerprints.
  8. Name four (4) conditions, which affect latent fingerprints.
  9. List four (4) ways to preserve fingerprints.


Added on
26 Aug 2002
OSCE Mission in Kosovo
Target group
OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Serbia
border control, border policing, fingerprinting, identification