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I am afraid they are allowed to do that now and have been for many years.
The purpose is for crime detection.
It used to be that they were only allowed to do so if a person were actually convicted at court. Then that was changed to allow them to take them from any person subject to a caution.
Now they take prints, DNA and photographs from any person who passes through the door of a police station under arrest.
Under S61 PACE they only need to show that a person is detained for a recordable offence.
The purpose of it is to make a speculative search upon other outstanding crimes.
Since this is a common assault and if you are an adult the prints and DNA will be retained indefinitely I'm afraid.
Can I clarify anything for you?