Franklin says the study showed hand prints can predict height with a relatively high degree of accuracy, close to that of height predictions from hand bones.
"The degree of error is close to as good as we can get," he says.
"This is a surprising degree of accuracy and needs to be tested in a larger population."
Franklin says human biological variation means it is impossible for the prediction to be 100 per cent accurate.
But, he adds, it's good enough for narrowing down a potential pool of candidates, who can then have their fingerprints or DNA taken.
"You're not convicting people and it's not going to give you a positive ID but it helps," says Franklin.
"It's an added bonus where there is a hand print at a crime scene."
In a related unpublished paper, Franklin and colleagues used the same hand print size data to predict sex.
"We're not saying that every male is bigger than every female but, on average, in the sample, males were significantly larger than females in terms of their hand dimensions," says Franklin.