Arresting for failure to attend to provide DNA

30 October 2019

Not reviewed after the date of publication


There is a power of arrested under paragraph 17 when a person fails to attend to provide DNA, as required under Schedule 2A to PACE. However, what offence has been committed and what is the necessity criteria for the arrest?


The power of arrest under PACE, Schedule 2A, paragraph 17 is only a power of arrest in order to bring the person to the station and take the samples. There is no offence of failing to comply with the requirements under that Schedule.

The necessity test outlined in Code G only relates to the general power of arrest under section 24 of PACE. Other specific powers of arrest, for example the power under paragraph 17 of Schedule 2A, do not require the necessity test to be satisfied.

However, if the sample is required to progress the investigation, you could consider re-arresting the suspect for the original offence, for the purpose of taking the sample. In those circumstances, the arrest would need to be deemed necessary under section 24 and Code G. Paragraph 2.9(e)(iii) of Code G refers to the taking of samples from a suspect:

'(iii) when considering arrest in connection with any recordable offence and it is necessary to secure or preserve evidence of that offence by taking fingerprints, footwear impressions or samples from the suspect for evidential comparison or matching with other material relating to that offence, for example, from the crime scene. See Note 2H'

As per Note 2H, this does not allow an arrest for the purpose of taking samples solely to enable a speculative search on police databases; this would not be deemed sufficient grounds for arrest. The samples must be needed for the purpose of proving the offence the person is being arrested for.

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