A photograph can do wonders. But, little did a criminal know that a mere photograph could get him convicted. In a peculiar case, the South Wales Police used the fingerprints taken from a picture shared on WhatsApp to identify a drug dealer and nab him, a BBC report stated.
The photograph came to light after the police received a tip-off of drugs being sold from a house in Kenfig Hill area of Bridgend, UK. After searching the phone of an individual who was caught there, the images were found which showed the hands of the alleged dealer holding ecstasy tablets.
Taking the fingerprints from the photograph and matching it with the dealer, the police were cleverly able to match the two. Eventually, it led to the conviction of 11 people involved in the drug deal as per the South Wales Police’s official website.
“While the scale and quality of the photograph proved a challenge, the small bits were enough to prove he was the dealer,” Dave Thomas from South Wales Police’s scientific support unit told BBC. He further described the use of this technique as “ground-breaking” and stated that the officers were now looking more closely at photographs in phones for potential evidence, the same report stated.
This conviction is believed to be the first of its kind in Wales. With the advancement in technology, many dealers and criminals are making use of new ways to avoid getting caught. However, this incident shows how even the police department can take advantage of technology and stay one step ahead. “These guys [the dealers] are using the technology not to get caught and we need to keep up with advancements,” Thomas added.