Sentervekternes polisiære fullmakter : grunnlag og grenser
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Policing in semi-private space such as shopping malls and railway stations etc. is to a large extent carried out by private security companies and not by the police, even though the areas are open to the public. The conduct and discretion of the security officers are regulated by the wish to offer visitors a pleasant environment, in particular conducive to shopping. This creates a risk for discrimination and violation of the fundamental right to liberty of movement for less desirable group of visitors. Except from the provision in The Criminal Procedure Act Section 176 on civil arrest and the right to use necessary force, laid down in the Civil Penal Code Section 48, there are no statutory regulations of the security officer’s policing powers. The general freedom of action provides the security officer a right to observe, and within limits also to follow individuals. The Personal Information Act, however, will to a large extent prohibit the security company recording their observations and actions. It may also be argued that the patrolling of public areas in shopping malls and railway stations etc by security officers is a “private activity whose purpose it is to maintain public peace and order” and as such is in breach of The Police Act Section 26. Actions such as arrests, seizures and turning people away may be based on consent from the person concerned, but it must be required that the consent is informed and free, and if possible also considered. The ability of under aged individuals to give a valid consent may also be a problem. Even though the shopping mall is privately owned and on private ground, the permission to establish it has been based on the idea that it shall be accessible and open to the public. It might therefore be argued that owners’ right to regulate access to the area should be restricted by “an urban right of way” in analogy with the statutory public right of rural way in Norway and Sweden. Only persons showing improper behaviour causing disturbance and danger, should be expelled or for a period of time denied access.
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