A reworked Police Act came into force on Wednesday, introducing broader powers for frontline staff.
It replaces the 1958 Police Act and now allows officers to fingerprint and photograph suspects before they have been summonsed, and without taking them back to a police station.
Superintendent Hamish McCardle was in charge of the act's review and says officers still have to have good reason to detain a suspect.
Mr McCardle says the act does not reflect a loss of civil liberties and is better for people in an arrest or summons situation, as they do not need to be taken to a station.
He says any information collected is destroyed if proceedings are dropped or the suspect is discharged.