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Maximizing the potential of latent fingerprints from crime scenes in the identification of suspects requires the rapid transfer of the latent from the scene to a remote fingerprint bureau. Transmission over restricted-bandwidth cellular wireless networks requires the latent images to be compressed but without compromising the likelihood of a match being achieved. We present details of experiments to establish the optimum form of compression that provides realistic transmission times and yet does not affect the utility and integrity of the U.K. Fingerprint Service in searching for latent identifications and in archiving unidentified latents on the U.K. national automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS). Practical aspects of the implemented system, especially in respect to communication and security protocols, are outlined. Finally, we give some details of the operational advantages of this system as it begins to be employed across U.K. police forces.