Can Security Guards Detain You?

Can Security Guards Detain You?

Security guards are like protectors who keep people and things safe. But, are they allowed to hold someone without legal permission? How much can they do under the law?

To really get what it’s like when a security guard detains someone, think about it as them stopping a person from moving around freely when they don’t want to be stopped.

Basically, when a security guard detains someone, they’re not letting that person go because they have a good reason to think that person might be stealing, trespassing, or causing trouble.

What Security Guards Are Allowed to Do Legally?

It’s important to understand what security guards can and can’t do compared to police officers.

Security guards are like regular folks when it comes to their legal powers. They have limits on what they can do, unlike the police.

They can protect the place they’re guarding, but they can’t just grab someone and hold them unless they see a crime happening or have a good reason to think a crime occurred.

In many places, it’s against the law for a security guard to hold someone unless they’re sure a crime happened or they have a good reason to believe it did.

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Arresting Citizens

Sometimes, regular people can arrest someone if they see them committing a crime. This is called a citizen’s arrest, and it lets them hold the person until the police come.

But there are rules. You can’t just think someone’s doing something wrong; you have to see them do it. Also, when you catch them, you can’t hurt them or threaten them.

If it turns out the person you arrested didn’t do anything wrong, you can get in trouble for making a false arrest.

Remember, you should only do this if there’s no other way to get help from the police right away.

When are Security Guards allowed to Detain You?

Security guards can only hold someone back if they believe there’s a good reason, like if they suspect the person did something wrong, or if the person might be a danger to people’s safety or the place they’re watching over.

To make sure they’re following the rules, security guards have to do certain things when they need to hold someone for a while.

Security guards can only keep someone if they follow certain rules:

  1. They can only keep someone if it’s really necessary and makes sense.

  2. They must have a good reason to think the person did something wrong or is going to do something wrong.

  3. They have to tell the person why they’re being kept and give their own information.

  4. They must let the person go as soon as the reason for keeping them is gone or when the police show up.

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What to Do If a Security Guard Detain You?

If a security guard detain you, it’s crucial to stay calm and follow their instructions. But don’t admit to doing anything wrong if you didn’t.

You have the right to ask why they’re detaining you and can request police to be there if you want.

If you think your rights are being violated, you can do something about it. You can complain to the security guard’s boss, get in touch with the local police, or talk to a lawyer for help.

Make sure to gather any proof that supports your side, like what people saw and any videos. This will help you stay safe in the future.


Security guards are like protectors for a place. They have some power to control things, but they can’t hold you against your will unless they follow certain rules. If a security guard tries to detain you, stay calm and do what they say.

But don’t worry, you have the right to know why they’re holding you and you can call the police for help. If you think the security guard or their boss did something wrong, it’s really important to complain to the police about it.

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