Non-intimate samples
Non-intimate samples

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

  • Non-intimate samples
  • Consent to non-intimate samples
  • Power to take non-intimate samples without consent
  • Procedural requirements
  • Advising at the police station
  • Power to require attendance at the police station
  • Retention and destruction of non-intimate samples

The police have wide powers to take non-intimate samples from a person under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984).

Non-intimate samples are defined as meaning:

  1. a sample of hair other than pubic hair

  2. a sample taken from a nail or from under a nail

  3. a swab from any part of a person's body other than a part from which a swab taken would be an intimate sample

  4. a sample of saliva, and

  5. a skin impression (other than a fingerprint)

For information on intimate samples, see Practice Note: Intimate samples.

Consent to non-intimate samples

Non-intimate samples cannot generally be taken from a person without their consent. In the case of a person who is under the age of 17 but is at least 14, the consent of their parent or guardian is also required. A person under the age of 14 cannot give consent; the consent of his parent or guardian must be obtained.

Power to take non-intimate samples without consent

Under PACE 1984 non-intimate samples may be taken without consent from those who have been arrested, charged or convicted in the UK, convicted of a serious offence overseas, or held in custody on the authority of the court.

Taking samples without consent following arrest

A non-intimate sample can be taken without consent following arrest if:

  1. the