Nightwalker statute

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Nightwalker statutes were English statutes, before modern policing, allowing or requiring night watchmen to arrest those found on the streets and hold them until morning.[1] Foremost among them was the Statute of Winchester of 1285 and re-adopted or amended several times until its repeal in 1827 that stated "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. ^ Tomlins, Thomas Edlyne; Raithby, John (1810). Nightwalker Statute 1285 [13 Edw. I. - A.D. 1285 Chapter IV]. HaithTrust. The Statutes of the Realm: Printed by Command of His Majesty King George the Third; in pursuance of an Address of the House of Commons of Great Britain. I. London, Great Britain: Dawson of Pall Mall. p. 97. OCLC 426777557.
  3. ^ 4 Blackstone 289[full citation needed]