Intimate Samples
Intimate Samples

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Intimate Samples
  • Intimate Samples from a detained suspect
  • Intimate Samples when not detained
  • Information which must be given to the suspect and recorded
  • Who can take an intimate sample?
  • Refusing consent
  • Reasonable cause
  • Retention and destruction of intimate samples

Intimate Samples from a detained suspect

An intimate sample is:

  1. a sample of blood, semen or any other tissue fluid, urine or pubic hair

  2. a dental impression, or

  3. a swab taken from any part of the genitals (including pubic hair) or from a person’s body orifice other than the mouth

The police have the power to take intimate samples from a person who is detained only if:

  1. the appropriate consent is obtained in writing, and

  2. the action is authorised by an officer of the rank of inspector or above

The officer can only authorise this if there are reasonable grounds for:

  1. suspecting the involvement of the person from whom the sample is taken in a recordable offence, and

  2. believing that the sample would tend to confirm or disprove his involvement in that offence

It is also possible for the police to take intimate samples from a person convicted of offences outside England and Wales where two or more non-intimate samples suitable for the same means of analysis have been taken from the person under PACE 1984, s 63(3E) but have proved insufficient. Again, this power can only be used where authorised by an officer of the rank of inspector or above and appropriate consent is obtained in writing. The authorising officer can only authorise the taking of the sample where they are