Activist Rights

Authorised officers may make an arrest

Estimated reading: 1 minute

Under the Crimes Act 1958 (“CA”), any person (not just police) can carry out a ‘citizen’s arrest’.

This means that any person, including Authorised Officers, can:

  • apprehend another person who
  • is committing a statutory or common law offence and
  • they believe on reasonably grounds that the apprehension is necessary to:
    • preserve public order, 
    • prevent the continuation of the offence,
    • for the safety or welfare of the person or others,
    • to ensure the person goes to court. (Crimes Act s 458(1)).

If you are arrested by an Authorised Officer using these powers, you can only be held in custody so long as the officer reasonably believes that the apprehension is necessary (Crimes Act 458(3)). 

In practice, Authorised Officers will often hand you over to the police.

In some instances, authorised officers using citizen’s arrests powers may be allowed to use reasonable force (Crimes Act 462A).

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