The laws around citizen's arrest vary a great deal depending on which country or state you're in, so your first step will be to conduct plenty of research on the laws that apply in your jurisdiction. "Plenty of research?
What kind of bullshit advice is that? That's what I came here looking for, you son of a bitch!" I imagine you saying, before attempting to place me under citizen's arrest for Felony Intent to Commit Bullshit. Don't apologize; it shows your arresting heart's in the right place. If you do just want to wing it, here are a few commonalities that most Western legal systems have, which will be useful to know if you don't want your citizen's arrest exploding in your face. First, citizen's arrests are generally only permissible for serious crimes -- felonies or indictable offenses only -- so if you had visions of putting a jaywalker into a figure-four leglock while screaming the theme from The A-Team
, that's not gonna fly. There is a wrinkle, though, in that if you observe a crime that is explicitly damaging your property, you do generally have the right to stop and arrest the subject. An Example:
To illustrate the techniques necessary for making a citizen's arrest, last week I tried these out in my hometown, Canada City. When conducting this first, boringest step, I first consulted with a Canadian police officer ...
... as well as a a Canadian lawyer ...
... who informed me that I really shouldn't even be considering this, but that I was correct in assuming I could only arrest people who've committed indictable offenses, or who've stolen something from me. Seeing as indictable offenses are things like "rape" and "death-attack" (this is what we call murder in Canada), I decided I didn't want much to do with fighting that kind of criminal. This left the other approach -- to catch a criminal, I'd first wander around town with my wallet dragging behind me on a string, wait for someone to touch it, then citizen's arrest the hell out of him.
Unless this becomes a habit of yours, you probably won't want to go full cape and cowl here. But you'd be surprised at the confidence you feel when you look the part, and if you think you're dressed like a vigilante badass, you actually may become a little more like one.
I am the hero Gotham deserves.