DETECTIVES have refused to comment on speculation in a national newspaper that DNA samples could be taken from thousands of men in connection with the search for missing York chef Claudia Lawrence.

The report was published in a national Sunday newspaper, and claimed 2,000 men in the Acomb area could have DNA samples taken by police, after new information showed Claudia’s mobile phone had been used in the area prior to her disappearance in 2009.

The phone records were released last week to mark five years since Claudia was last seen, along with other new lines of inquiry which included the DNA profile of an unknown male found on a cigarette butt in Claudia’s car, which had been in for repairs in the weeks prior to her disappearance.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said the Major Crimes Unit were aware of the report, but would not comment on it.

Speaking at the release of new appeals into Claudia’s disappearance last week, Chief Superintendent Simon Mason said there were policies and strategies around taking DNA in investigations, which meant they were not taken unless deemed relevant by detectives, stating “logistics alone dictate that is not standard or normal operational practice”.