Store Security releasing offenders

General Law Enforcement discussion which does not fit into other channels. Post your thoughts and feelings about anything you want (LE related), or just vent those fumes about whatever is on your chest.
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Re: Store Security releasing offenders

Postby Thefairburn » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:50 pm

OCCOP wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:33 pm
Technically not legal. S. 494 requires a person when arrested by a citizen to be turned over to a peace officer. Phone is not acceptable, you can't turn a body over via phone...

I am not saying it hasn't been done, I know it has for at least 20 years in some places but I don't agree with it. I think for it to be truly legal it requires another actual/real change in the Law, not the police services trying to sneak (for lack of a better word) around the written law without changing the Law...

I get it, it sucks to have to waste police resources/time on this minor offence and has all sorts of Charter implications but I don't believe that it is technically legal. I've written on this topic before at length in relation to the potential problems (people charged under false identity documents, LPO mistakes in communication of information-bad CPIC results missing Wanted hits, etc.) this creates but none of them have reportedly happened and the powers that be don't care because so far it seems to work...

I don't personally like these half-assed programs (missing the actual step of making them technically legal), that were created for expediency and not made totally proper.

Its not a bad meets a need but I still have problems with it not (by virtue of the formal written law found in the Criminal Code section 494) being technically legal.

As a security guard who occasionally makes s.494 arrests for theft, this would be my concern if such a program were to come up in my area (not likely due to the municipality I work in not having a high call volume, but 'what if'). If I've made an arrest, I cannot just 'undo' that and release the person, as going by how s.494 spells it out, delivery to a peace officer is mandatory.

That's kind of the same issue with just getting the merchandise back and releasing after making an arrest. If I've just told them to give the stuff back and they do it and I haven't gone hands on or anything like that, that's all well and good as far as I can see it because I haven't made an arrest at that point. But if there's resistance to that or theres another circumstance (prolific offender, high value merchandise, etc) which causes me to not just let it go (I'm not arresting someone over a toothbrush and a bag of chips, whether the client likes it or not) and make an arrest, at that point I'm essentially taking someone else's rights away and potentially using force to do it, and since I haven't had any extra powers bestowed upon me like police officers have, it isn't my place to just decide to now let that person go after I've done what, outside of a lawful arrest, would amount to forcible confinement and potentially assault. I need to deliver that person to a peace officer so they can make a determination about my arestee's actions, and mine.

This kind of program seems like a good idea and I really like the merits of it, taking a load off the police officer's shoulders in a busy area is of course a great thing. But I feel like this program is waiting for someone to go "Hey wait a minute-" and question, or worse exploit, the s.494 issues brought up here. I have seen it happen where people fake-shoplift and test continuity of LPOs for the sole purpose of being forcibly confined, looking for a quick payout from a civil suit. Would hate to see a security guard, company, store, and/or police service get jammed up in a lawsuit over something like this. Just my 2 cents.

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