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What is a Citizens’ Arrest in New South Wales?

Section 100(1) of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 provides that a person other than a police officer may arrest another person without a warrant if that other person:

(a) Is in the act of committing an offence,

(b) Has just committed an offence, or

(c) Has committed an offence punishable by at least 5 years in prison for which the person has not been tried.

This is commonly known as a ‘citizens’ arrest’.

A person who conducts a citizens’ arrest must take the arrested person, as well as any property found on that person, before an authorised officer such as a police order as soon as reasonably practicable.

The force used to conduct a citizens’ arrest must be reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

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