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Short-term “jails” are planned for supermarkets and town centres to deal with yobs and shoplifters under Home Office proposals to ease the burden on police. Discussions have already started about building a “retail jail” inside the Selfridges store in Oxford Street, London.
Suspects would be held for up to four hours in a small room with a clear plastic front so they were visible to custody officers at all times during their detention.
Ministers are also proposing a huge expansion of police powers to take fingerprints, DNA and other samples from offenders and store them on national databases. People caught speeding, failing to wear a seat belt, allowing their dog to foul the footpath and dropping litter could be forced to give fingerprints or DNA to police for checking against other databases.