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  • HospitalSO
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    I'll not comment on Canadian law, about which I know nothing, but about the logistics of the situation more generally.

    "Arrest" is not usually the only, or necessarily the best, option available in situations such as this. To a great extent, however, the following suggestion depends on how clearly you can see the individual in the video (how certain you are of his identity).

    If you can clearly identify him, it may be sufficient to contact the individual in question when you see him, politely ask for a moment of his time ("May I speak with you privately for just a moment? Thanks very much."), and let him know what you have seen on videotape. You advise him in the most friendly way that this constitutes evidence of a crime should the victim elect to prosecute. However, you have a solution that should satisfy everyone. You arrange for the return of the laptop, and make it clear that he is to check out of the hotel and never return. He's very likely to see the advantage of this solution to his future.

    So long as you do not detain the individual forcibly, "take him to the security office", nor indicate by anything you say that he is not free to terminate the conversation with you and leave, and as long as the conversation is relatively brief (you can do this in 5 minutes or less), it is highly unlikely that this kind of contact would be interpreted as an "arrest", or expose you to any significant degree of liability. (You can, and should, of course, direct him to some very nearby out-of-the-way alcove or anywhere close to your initial point of contact that allows you to talk with him away from ear-shot of other people.)

    Although some of what we do in private policing does unfortunately lead down the pathway to arrests, making an arrest is NOT our primary objective, nor are we obliged by any affidavit or oath to make arrests when we happen to have knowledge of a crime (particularly a property crime). This is why private policing is so much more powerful than public policing - we have a multitude of better objectives, options and solutions available to us that the public police, frankly, do not have.

    So - if you look at this as a "problem-solving" situation instead of a "crime" situation, you can perhaps identify better approaches than simply whether to make an arrest or not.

    Excellent advice SecTrainer. In Canada, thefts under $5000 are handled summarily, i.e. no jail time. He just might have to pay a fine if found guilty. If it is a first offense, he might receive a one year conditional sentence, and if he meets those conditions for the year, the charge will be considered served. If there have been more theft charges in the past, the sentence could be a little more severe, depending on the judge.

    If you do want to involve the police, then get as much information as you can, such as victim information, laptop information, video/picture of the suspect committing the theft. Contact the police to see if they will attend if you see the suspect again. Or maybe somebody will drop by to see what you have, maybe the suspect is known to the police for other crimes being investigated. If not, then at least you and your staff are aware of the situation, and if the suspect returns, you can keep an eye on him to see if he commits another theft, deal with it the way SecTrainer suggested, or just remove him from your property if he has no reson to be there. Chances are that this is not the first time your suspect has committed thefts. If the police do come when the suspect is there, they might find out he was warrants out for his arrest. Who knows how this might play out...

    SecTrainer does have very good advice for you, and it would be the easiest way to handle the situation. Good luck!! And keep us updated!
    Last edited by HospitalSO; 02-07-2007, 01:58 PM.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    I'll not comment on Canadian law, about which I know nothing, but about the logistics of the situation more generally.

    "Arrest" is not usually the only, or necessarily the best, option available in situations such as this. To a great extent, however, the following suggestion depends on how clearly you can see the individual in the video (how certain you are of his identity).

    If you can clearly identify him, it may be sufficient to contact the individual in question when you see him, politely ask for a moment of his time ("May I speak with you privately for just a moment? Thanks very much."), and let him know what you have seen on videotape. You advise him in the most friendly way that this constitutes evidence of a crime should the victim elect to prosecute. However, you have a solution that should satisfy everyone. You arrange for the return of the laptop, and make it clear that he is to check out of the hotel and never return. He's very likely to see the advantage of this solution to his future.

    So long as you do not detain the individual forcibly, "take him to the security office", nor indicate by anything you say that he is not free to terminate the conversation with you and leave, and as long as the conversation is relatively brief (you can do this in 5 minutes or less), it is highly unlikely that this kind of contact would be interpreted as an "arrest", or expose you to any significant degree of liability. (You can, and should, of course, direct him to some very nearby out-of-the-way alcove or anywhere close to your initial point of contact that allows you to talk with him away from ear-shot of other people.)

    Although some of what we do in private policing does unfortunately lead down the pathway to arrests, making an arrest is NOT our primary objective, nor are we obliged by any affidavit or oath to make arrests when we happen to have knowledge of a crime (particularly a property crime). This is why private policing is so much more powerful than public policing - we have a multitude of better objectives, options and solutions available to us that the public police, frankly, do not have.

    So - if you look at this as a "problem-solving" situation instead of a "crime" situation, you can perhaps identify better approaches than simply whether to make an arrest or not.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-07-2007, 10:55 AM.

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  • 11B/PMC
    replied
    Originally posted by FDG06
    I'm sorry, maybe its just my mood tonight..but if you have to actually check for an answer on this, then perhaps you shouldn't be considering "arresting" anyone, for anything and take the time to learn the laws & regulations in your jurisdiction & how they relate to your job function as a guard, officer, agent or whatever..do this before you end up "needing" to afford a lawyer for your own defense.
    Yoda
    That may be the best advice you'll ever receive, HotelSecurity. Well said, FDG06.

    Hotel, once you have made this "arrest"' do you plan on searching the individual. If I was the receiving Peace Officer, and I received a prisoner who was not properly searched, I may get perturbed when I find a knife or handcuff key hidden on his or her person.

    HAZMAT: Do you have the proper containers for meth residue, needles and other dangerous substances that may be found on the detained suspect? Does your Hotel have insurance for "Storage of hazardous materials"? Does your Hotel have insurance for prisoner containment? In other words, can you arrest someone and stick them in the storage closet, or is the managers office more appropriate? Are either of those detainment facilities escape proof? If the suspect runs, and harms an innocent civilian during escape, are you covered? How about handicapped, mentally challenged or under the influence suspects? What if someone is injured during the arrest process? What if this individual is HIV positive? Do you carry restraint devices? Are you trained and current in the training of those devices? And so on and so on........These are the things I would be an expert on, long before ever thinking of making an "arrest".

    Too easy: identify the subject, move to position of cover and concealment. Notify the authorities, direct them into the scene with up-to-date and accurate information. Assist if requested, ask politely for a case number, and pray the court date doesn't fall on your day off.

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by Llorta
    yes this is serious. in america you can arrest him if you knew he took your laptop and you are entytled to 3 times the damages which you can take in his personal proparty right away
    America does not have a uniform criminal code. Each state has their own.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by HotelSecurity
    this is not serious, is it? In Canada something like this would make the arrest illegal. Once we have arrested someone we MUST turn them over to a Peace Officer. Even if they return the stolen article. Not turning them over makes the arrest illegal & your butt could be sued big time as well as possible criminal charges for assault etc.
    yes this is serious. in america you can arrest him if you knew he took your laptop and you are entytled to 3 times the damages which you can take in his personal proparty right away

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  • FDG06
    replied
    I'm sorry, maybe its just my mood tonight..but if you have to actually check for an answer on this, then perhaps you shouldn't be considering "arresting" anyone, for anything and take the time to learn the laws & regulations in your jurisdiction & how they relate to your job function as a guard, officer, agent or whatever..do this before you end up "needing" to afford a lawyer for your own defense.
    Yoda

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by Llorta
    you have the right to arrest him and if he doesn ot give you your laptop back youcan take his valuable until you have 3 times the worth of your laptop
    this is not serious, is it? In Canada something like this would make the arrest illegal. Once we have arrested someone we MUST turn them over to a Peace Officer. Even if they return the stolen article. Not turning them over makes the arrest illegal & your butt could be sued big time as well as possible criminal charges for assault etc.

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  • CorpSec
    replied
    Originally posted by Llorta
    you have the right to arrest him and if he doesn ot give you your laptop back youcan take his valuable until you have 3 times the worth of your laptop
    I don't think that is the case. It would make for interesting law though. A lot of laptops are worth in excess of 2k. Using this logic, your guest may walk with something as valuable as a used car or a Rolex watch.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    you have the right to arrest him and if he doesn ot give you your laptop back youcan take his valuable until you have 3 times the worth of your laptop

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  • HospitalSO
    replied
    We were trained that we have to actually see the person committing the offense as it happens. If you saw it happen and made the arrest, the video can be used as evidense.

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  • Bill Warnock
    replied
    Let's review the bidding. Did you contact your manager and did he contact his legal counsel? If so, what was the legal opinion? Do not, repeat, do not act on your own. You must follow the law and not from altruistism.
    Your actions must reflect the tenor of the corporation's. You must not become a loose cannon.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Proceed with caution.

    Definitely have the complainant contact the police if he wishes to proceed. The police can review the evidence and decide if there is sufficient proof to make an arrest. If you see the suspect, try to get as much identification on him as you can under some pretense such as you need a DL to verify room payment or some other believable excuse. That will make it easier for the police to pick him up when the time comes.

    I DO NOT recommend making an arrest based on video tape that you had to go back and check on. That's different than actually seeing the crime being committed as it actually occurs.

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Especially when most laws allow for in presence arrest only. Now, if its a "felony," if you have that concept, and you have probable cause, then yeah, its a legal arrest.

    No in Canada you can only arrest under probable cause if the person is fleeing someone who has the right to arrest them. That's why I really get upset when the guest refuses to make a police report. (see my post just before this one). If a report is made I can always approach the suspect, ask him to stay & wait for the police & arrest him if he flees before they arrive.

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    Originally posted by CorpSec
    I have no idea about Canadian law, but the guy will most likely have to call the police to take the theft report eh? When the cops come, I would ask them how they suggest you proceed if you spot him.
    That's another problem. Montreal Police no longer come to take reports if it is not 100% sure that the suspect is still on the property for crimes like this. The victims are expected to go to the police station to fill out their own reports which the police add a case number to. The idea is good - to keep the police free to respond quicker to emergencies. The problem is, like in this case, the guest does not want to get dressed & walk 3 blocks to the police station in minus 20 C especially when, since to him they can't be bothered to come to take a report, they won't be bothered to investigate. This is a big problem here in Montreal that the politicans are playing with. At the end of the year they are telling everyone "crime is down: when in fact only "reported crime is down"

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Especially when most laws allow for in presence arrest only. Now, if its a "felony," if you have that concept, and you have probable cause, then yeah, its a legal arrest.

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