Police: Avoid excessive force when making citizen’s arrest

National 1 minute, 44 seconds


MEMBERS of the public are not authorised to use physical force beyond self-defence when making a citizen's arrest, according to a chief inspector of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).

Officer-in-Charge of Sg Liang Station Chief (OCS) Inspector Burhan Abang said the public have the power to arrest a suspect when witnessing a crime, and should inform the police immediately.

“After a person has been apprehended by a member of the public, the party must report the situation immediately to the police.

“If the arrested suspect offers no physical resistance or poses no physical risk, then the public do not have the right to cause him or her physical harm,” said the chief inspector ahead of a joint police patrol with the neighbourhood watch of Lumut 1 last Thursday night.

If the suspect resists or gets aggressive, Burhan said the public have licence to defend themselves, but only to the point needed to neutralise the threat.

“The person arresting should exercise proper judgement and evaluate the situation. If you are attacked you can defend or evade, but only to the extent needed to overcome the aggressor. Any physical harm done beyond this point can be considered an offence,” he said.

Burhan also added that when a member of the public makes a citizen's arrest, they should be cautious not to disturb or tamper with the site of the crime, and to allow the police to investigate.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairperson of Lumut 1 Village Consultative Council (MPK) Hj Mas Yose Abdul said MPKs had deepened their knowledge on crime prevention after participating in patrols with the police.

“We get to work together with the police to see how they operate in identifying potential suspects and criminal hotspots,” he said.

Sixteen police from Sg Liang Police Station were involved in Thursday night's patrol around the Lumut and Liang area.

The operation began at 10.30pm and ended at 1.30am with no arrests made.

Earlier that night in Seria, police also teamed up with the neighbourhood watch of Panaga to conduct a foot patrol around the Panaga National Housing Scheme.

The Brunei Times