Nightwalker statute

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Nightwalker statutes were English statutes, in the era before modern policing, allowing or requiring night watchmen to arrest those found on the city streets and hold them until morning.[1] As an example, the Statute of Winchester, adopted in 1285 and readopted or amended several times until its repeal in 1827, stated that "if any stranger do pass by them, he shall be arrested until morning."[2] Such power was interpreted to extend not only to the watchmen themselves, but also to assistants, and allowed the arrest and detention of all persons.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Atwater v. Lago Vista 532 US 318 (2001)
  2. ^ 13 Edw. I, ch. 4, §§5–6[full citation needed]
  3. ^ 4 Blackstone 289[full citation needed]