The Home Office is considering allowing the police to set up short-term jails in supermarkets and shopping centres for low-level offenders.

The proposal is considered in a review document of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, according to reports in The Times.

“Persons detained would be subject to detention to a maximum of four hours to enable finger-printing, photographing and DNA sampling,” the review document states.

“The aim would be to locate short-term holding facilities in busy areas to allow quick access and processing of suspects to enable the officer to resume operational duties as quickly as possible.”