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UER Forum > UE Encyclopedia > Citizen's Arrest (Viewed 880 times)
Entry: Citizen's Arrest
originally posted by Dee Ashley

"Citizen's Arrest" is a term often used as a synonym for, "Power of Arrest" (which can also be found here:


  • "A citizen's arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official.[1] In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval England and the English common law, in which sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend law breakers.
    Despite the practice's name, in most countries, the arresting person is usually designated as a person with arrest powers, who need not be a citizen of the country in which they are acting. For example, in the British jurisdiction of England and Wales, the power comes from section 24A(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984,[2] called "any person arrest". This legislation states "any person" has these powers, and does not state that they need to be a British citizen."


United States:

Provided that the arrest does not violate the person's Fourth Amendment ( rights, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the American law which was born from its preceding Crown law (British law). One example can be found here:
    In the United States a private person may arrest another, without a warrant, for a crime occurring in their presence. For which crimes this is permitted may vary state by state, depending on local law." https://en.wikiped..._the_United_States

There are two subsections under Canadian law: Federal and Provincial. The latter category is of most interest to this encyclopedia:

    "There are several arrest authorities found through the various provincial statutes. The most notable citizen's arrest authority in Ontario is found in the Trespass to Property Act, but there are others found in the Highway Traffic Act, the Liquor Licence Act, and many others.


    Arrest without warrant on premises
    9. (1) A police officer, or the occupier of premises, or a person authorized by the occupier may arrest without warrant any person he or she believes on reasonable and probable grounds to be on the premises in contravention of section 2.

    Delivery to police officer

    (2) Where the person who makes an arrest under subsection (1) is not a police officer, he or she shall promptly call for the assistance of a police officer and give the person arrested into the custody of the police officer."

More information as well as the original Canadian code can be found here: https://www.ontari...laws/statute/90t21

For more information on the specifics of the Canadian law, other specific countries, as well as the Federal portion of Canadian law, please visit this link: https://en.wikiped...rrest#cite_note-14
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