Legal Studies 3080

Citizen's Arrest


From time to time you have probably heard of situations in which a private citizen arrested a criminal without the aid of a police officer. It is possible in certain situations for people to do this.



According to Section 494 of the Criminal Code, you, as a private citizen, can make an arrest if:

  • you find someone in the process of committing an indictable offence,
  • you reasonably believe someone has committed a criminal offence and is being freshly pursued by the police,
  • you find someone committing an offence on your property, or
  • you have been authorized by the owner of the property to arrest anyone committing an offence on it.

You can also make an arrest if a police officer asks for your help (providing the officer has the legal authority to make the arrest).