ANTHROPOMETRY 49 house of a doctor in the small hours of May 5, 1929, the "burglars were arrested and convicted from the finger impressions left by them on the broken glass panes of the sky-lights through which they effected entrance into the room.50 The London Police have devised a system, by which finger prints can be sent by cable or wireless telegraphy to all parts of the world. In this system the various arches, whorls and loops are described by index letters and figures. At the receiving bureau the finger prints can be reconstructed in five minutes. In one case the finger prints thus sent to New York enabled a counterfeiter, who had escaped while on bail, to be identified, and in another case a man detained by the London Police was believed to be wanted by the Chicago Police and his finger prints were taken and sent by wireless to the United States. Fugitives know full well that as long as their finger prints are on the files of the Criminal Investigation Department they cannot hope to avoid detection by merely adopting aliases and changing their bases of operation. Hence they sometimes attempt to mutilate the patterns by inflicting injuries, such as wounds or burns, on the bulbs of their fingers, but they forget that the resul- tant scars do not necessarily obliterate the patterns, as there will still exist definite delineations, unless the true skin is completely destroyed. In the case of criminals and emigrants, and in the case of persons in sub- ordinate Government service—both civil and military—while preparing their service books and pension papers, impressions of all the ten fingers are taken, but for the purpose of identification while giving a medical certificate and for other civil purposes the left thumb impression only is taken. The police are required to take the finger prints of an unidentified corpse, or of a person whose identity has not been established by ordinary enquiries and who has died in an accident, or under suspicious circumstances, or in the commission of a crime. Ordinarily there is not much difficulty in taking impressions from the fingers of a corpse, but it is sometimes difficult to obtain decipherable prints in a body, which has far advanced hi decomposition. In such cases the police should request the medical officer holding the post- mortem examination to remove the skin from the bulbs of the fingers. The medical officer should pack each piece in a separate envelope marking on the outside the finger to which it belongs. For the Uttar Pradesh, these enve- lopes should then be sent to the Finger Print Bureau at Allahabad for opinion. It must be remembered that impressions of the ridge patterns left on the dermis can be used for identifying a dead body after the epidermis of the finger tips has been shed through putrefaction. The inner surface of the skin which has come off like a glove especially in a drowned body that has under- gone putrefactive changes can also be used for the purpose of identification. On the other hand, in a decomposed body where the skin is hard, contracted and wrinkled, impressions of the ridge patterns can be obtained by soaking the fingers in a weak solution of caustic alkali to make them swell up, but the impressions thus obtained are not usually sharply defined: hence it is advisable to take a photograph of the ridge patterns after they are restored to their normal state. Faint and invisible finger prints can be rendered quite clear and distinct by dusting them with some fine, impalpable powder. They can then be examined with a lens or enlarged permanently as a photograph.51 If the finger prints are on paper or a light-coloured surface, graphite (plumbago) or lamp black is used. If the prints are on glass or a dark-coloured surface, 50. Lahore High Court Criminal Appeal No. 1168 of 1929, King-Emperor v. Sardara; 31 Criminal Law Jour., Sept. 1930, p. 877. 51. J. G. Garson, Trans, of the Medico-Legal Soc., VoL H 1904-1905, p. 115.