New powers of citizen’s arrest came into force Monday that give people more leeway in nabbing criminals.
The Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act no longer requires a person to catch a suspect red-handed, but allows for the apprehension within a reasonable amount of time after a crime.
The law allows people to make a citizens’ arrest of someone who has committed a crime on their property or in relation to their personal possessions when it’s not feasible for a police officer to make an arrest.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says Canadians want to know they are able to protect themselves from crime and not be re-victimized by the justice system.
The case of David Chen, a Toronto grocery store owner who chased down and detained a shoplifter, spurred the Criminal Code changes after he was charged with forcible confinement and assault, though he was later acquitted.
The law still requires people to call police as soon as possible and not use excessive force.