An “arrest” is defined as the action of seizing a person with an intent to restrain and take into custody. It should also be noted that, if the circumstances allow, a person may submit to the arrest merely by being informed of the intention, without the need for physical restraint.

Contrary to common thought, anyone can make an arrest if they suspect the person is committing an offence punishable by imprisonment. When an arrest is made by someone without police authority, it is known as a “citizen’s arrest”. This means that security guards are within their rights to do so if need be.

As a security officer, you must not arrest someone unless you are 100% certain that they have committed an arrest of serious nature. It must be your only viable option at the time. Arresting someone in an attempt to find out if they have committed the crime in question is an unlawful arrest. An unlawful arrest may have serious consequences for you and your employer.

If you witnessed or have evidence of the crime that warrants a police arrest, you must use clear language to identify yourself, your employer, inform them of their arrest and the reason why. Only use physical restraint if necessary to do so. By law, you are required to call the police immediately after the arrest is made. Document the arrest by noting as many details as possible. This may include:

  • Time, date and place of the arrest
  • A description of the arrested individual
  • Details of attending officers
  • Witness details
  • Time of police arrival

Note that a person under citizens arrest does not have to provide their identification or answer questions. You are not permitted to confiscate or search their belongings. You may only request these things, then wait until the police arrive.

In any situation you believe warrants this type of action, be careful to assess the scene before going ahead. Always consider your safety and the safety of those around you first.



Diamond Protection Pty Ltd (Diamond) is a leading provider of security, emergency and training services. Established in 1995, this Australian owned and operated company is committed to leading the way – to be the standard of excellence. Diamond operates an internationally certified Integrated Management System (IMS) incorporating ISO accreditation for Quality (ISO 9001:2008), Occupational Health & Safety (AS/NZS 4801 & OHSAS18001:2007) and Environmental Management (ISO 14001:2004) Systems. The company has placed significant importance in continual improvement and commitment to the community and environment.

Diamond works closely with clients throughout Australia and beyond to provide security audits, security guards / officers, patrols, risk management, emergency service officers, safety officers, life support and nationally recognised training courses in partnership with Australian government and private Registered Training Organisations.

Visit our website at, call our team on 1300 669 155 or email: to outline your specific requirements.