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When a police officer uses legal authority to seize a person and take them into custody.  This may involve physical restraint.

For an arrest to be lawful the police must only arrest someone who they believe was involved in an offence or about to be involved in an offence.1 The police must also follow the guidance in PACE Code G.

The police do not always have to arrest someone they believe has committed an offence, they must consider whether the suspect’s voluntary attendance is a practicable alternative for carrying out the interview.2

Children should not be arrested (or interviewed) at their school or college, unless their arrest at their place of education is unavoidable.3


  1. Section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984  (back)
  2. Code G Note 2F  (back)
  3. Code G Note 1B, Code C Note 11D  (back)