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Citizen's arrest

In common law jurisdictions, a citizen's arrest is an arrest by a private citizen, as opposed to a law enforcement officer, for either:

  • a public offence committed or attempted in his presence;
a felony not committed in his presence, when he has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested has committed it.

The prisoner should be handed over to the police as soon as possible.

A wrongful citizen's arrest may constitute a tort of unlawful imprisonment.

In the US ability to make a citizen's arrest is essential to bounty hunting.

Citizen's arrest is also allowed in Canada provided the police are called immediately after the suspect is detained.

Citizen's arrest is allowed in New Zealand under certain circumstances [1].

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