Saturday, January 29, 2011

Harper government to increase citizen's arrest powers

Harper government expected to make controversial increase in citizen's-arrest powers
Douglas Quan, Vancouver Sun, Jan. 29, 2011

"The recent debate was sparked when a shopkeeper in Toronto’s Chinatown, David Chen, was charged with assault and forcible confinement after he and two of his employees confronted a man who had stolen plants from the store an hour earlier, tied him up and threw him into the back of a van. Current law allows a citizen to make an arrest only while a crime is in progress.

"Chen was ultimately acquitted of the charges, but the fact that he was charged at all upset fellow store owners and politicians. Liberal MP Joe Volpe and NDP MP Olivia Chow introduced private member’s bills aimed at loosening the restrictions on when a citizen can detain someone.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper also jumped into the fray, ordering government lawyers to look into changing the Criminal Code late last year and then making a personal visit to Chen this month.

"Sara MacIntyre, a spokeswoman for Harper, said the issue is a 'priority' for the prime minister and legislation will likely be tabled in February."

No comments:

Post a Comment