The BCCLA is extremely concerned that a new proposal to amend citizen‟s arrest rights in Canada opens the door to privatized 911 services. The provision would allow a property owner or someone they appoint to arrest someone within a “reasonable” time following the commission of an alleged offence.
“The solution to people being concerned that the police are too busy to answer a 911 call about a minor property crime is not to expand when people can take the law into their own hands. The solution is to ensure that there are adequate professionally trained and qualified police resources available. Allowing private security companies to be made agents of property owners and roam around arresting people is a bad move,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA. “If this is what was intended by those who drafted this bill, they should give their heads a shake and go back to the drafting board.”
Private policing has been on the increase in Canada with a rapid expansion of private security firms at malls and on urban streets. Security firms are not regulated or overseen in the manner that police are. They lack the training, education, discipline and professionalism that police officers are required to possess.
“The idea that you could call “Bob‟s 911 Service‟ and have someone forcibly arrest and detain another person is an invitation to vigilantism. We call for this bill to be amended to close that gap immediately,” said Holmes.
The BCCLA is writing a letter to all of the federal political parties to express concern about the proposed law.
David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997
Robert Holmes, President, (604) 681-1310