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Can someone please tell me exactly what powers store detectives/security guards have?


Do they have the legal power to foricbly detain you?


If the do have the legal power to detain you and they falsely accuse/detain you then who can you sue?


They have exactly the same powers as any ordinary citizen, no more or less.


They can forcibly detain someone they have arrested, but if the arrest is unlawful can be sued for it (and potentially for false imprisonment, if that occurred too).

They can forcibly detain someone under common law : same provisos apply.

As an example : recent attempt to rob a bookmakers by an individual armed with what appeared to be a real pistol, wearing a gas mask. A number of customers felt the pistol was real, intervened and restrained the robber.

The robber was unconscious when police arrived and subsequently died.

The inquest is pending, but it appears at the moment no criminal charges are being persued against the customers who acted to restrain the robber, despite his death.

I suspect this has been influenced by the fact that the apparently real pistol may have meant it was reasonable for the customers to have fear for their lives, and enable them to act (under common law) : one of the main issues is 'are the actions "reasonable" in the circumstances'

( 'reasonable' and 'proportionate')


Who might you sue : the individual, and potentially their employer +/- the store who contracts with their employer, if they are vicariously liable.


The details will matter, and if you decide to sue, professional legal advice may well be wise.

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