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 offence1. The police must also follow the guidance in PACE Code G. Additionally, the person being arrested must be informed as soon as it is practicable, after the arrest that the person is under arrest, even where the arrest is obvious.2
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 interview3. This is a preferred route for children, as arrests of children should be used only where necessary.4
Children should not be arrested (or interviewed) at their school or college, unless their arrest at their place of education is unavoidable.5