Section 11 - Use Of Force Theory
Security guards may find themselves in a situation where they need to
use force. An understanding of use of force theory, the components of
the use of force model and how to maintain composure during
potentially stressful situations is required.
Where a security guard is required or authorized by law to do anything
in the administration or enforcement of the law, section 25 of the
Criminal Code (Canada) is applicable. In these circumstances, section 25
allows a security guard (like all members of the public) to use as much
force as is necessary as long as they act on reasonable grounds.
However, section 26 states that individuals who use force are also
criminally responsible for any excess of force in these circumstances.
It is important that security guards have an understanding of use of force theory in
order to avoid using excessive force. Security guards should also be familiar with
the concepts of excited delirium syndrome and positional asphyxia; these may
occur when a person is being physically restrained, and may lead to sudden or
Typically, a person suffering from excited delirium will display signs of severe
mental disturbance, and may act violently and aggressively. If a person appears to
be delirious, the security guard should avoid agitating or exciting them. Excited
delirium can be caused by a variety of factors (or a combination of them), such as
drug use, mental illness, brain injuries or tumors, heart disease, high blood
pressure, high or low blood sugar, respiratory problems, or fever.
Positional asphyxia could happen to any person being physically restrained, but
the risk of it is much higher for individuals suffering from excited delirium. When
being restrained, a person should not be placed in a position that may prevent
them from breathing properly – they should not be held face down, and there
should be no pressure on their chest. The National Use of Force Model (see
below) is a situational model which may help security guards understand the
appropriate level of force to use in a given situation. Based on the situation and
the behaviour of the subject (black and white/inner circles), the security guard
should assess the situation and determine what type of response is appropriate
(coloured/outer circles). For example, a security guard would not use hard physical
force against a subject who is being cooperative.
Use of Force
Policy: Everyone is justified in using as much force as is REASONABLY NECESSARY to
prevent the commission of an offence that would be likely to cause immediate and
serious injury to the person or property of anyone. Everyone who is authorized by law
to use force is CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE for any excess thereof.
Upon detaining suspect(s) for purpose of arrest and/or escape custody you shall
forthwith deliver the person to a Police Officer.
Contact Local Law Enforcement (must always record time of call and time of arrival for
all Police Agencies), site coordinator and record results.
Create incident report.
Summarize in incident log.
Record all parties involved and their information (names, DOB, phone numbers etc.).
Use of Force – Criminal Code of Canada
1.Section 25 Criminal Code – When Protected – When Not Protected
Everyone who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement
of the law as a private person as a peace officer or a public officer in aid of a peace officer or public
officer, or Policy & Procedures SMOaSn uSael r2v0ic0e3s 24 by virtue of his office is, if he acts on
reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as such
force as is necessary for that purpose.
Subject to subsection (4), a person is not justified for the purpose of section (1) in using force that is
intended or is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm unless he believes on reasonable grounds
that it is necessary for the purpose of preserving himself or anyone under his protection from death
or grievous bodily harm.
(3) A peace officer who is proceeding lawfully to arrest, with or without warrant, any person for an
offence for which that person may be arrested without warrant, and everyone lawfully assisting the
peace officer is justified, if the person to be arrested takes flight to avoid arrest, in using as much
force as is necessary to prevent the escape by flight, unless the escape can be prevented by
reasonable means in a less violent manner.
Criminal Code Continued
2. Section 26 Criminal Code – Excessive Force
Everyone who is authorized by law to use force is criminally responsible for any excess thereof according to the nature and
quality of the act that constitutes the excess.
3. Section 27 Use of Force to Prevent Commission of Offence
Everyone is justified in using as much force as is reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of an offence for which, if
it were committed, the person who committed it might be arrested without warrant, and that would be likely to cause
immediate and serious injury to the person or property of anyone, or to prevent anything being done that, on reasonable
grounds, he believes would, if it were done, be an offence mentioned in paragraph (a).
4. Section 37 Criminal Code – Preventing Assault – Extent of Justification
Everyone is justified in using force to defend himself or anyone under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force
than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the willful
infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was
intended to prevent.
Criminal Code Continued
5. Section 38 Criminal Code – Defense of Personal Property – Assault by Trespasser Policy & Procedures SMOaSn uSael
Everyone who is in peaceable possession of personal property, and everyone lawfully assisting him, is justified in
preventing a trespasser from taking it, or in taking it from a trespasser who has taken it, if he does not strike or cause
bodily harm to the trespasser.
Where a person who is in peaceable possession of personal property lays hands on it, a trespasser who persists in
attempting to keep it or take it from him or from any one lawfully assisting him shall be deemed to commit an assault
without justification or provocation.
6. Section 41 Criminal Code – Defense of Real Property Section
Everyone who is in peaceable possession of a dwelling-house or real property, and everyone lawfully assisting him or acting
under his authority, is justified in using force to prevent any person from trespassing on the dwelling-house or real
property, or to remove a trespasser there from, if he uses no more force than is necessary.
A trespasser who resists an attempt by a person who is in peaceable possession of a of a dwelling-house or real property,
or a person lawfully assisting him or acting under his authority to prevent his entry or to remove hem, shall be deemed to
commit an assault without justification or provocation.