Talk:Breach of the peace

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There is permission for non-officer arrests only in cases of "breach of the peace" misdemeanors. Which misdemeanors are those?

Merge with disturbing the peace?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was merge. Jbbdude (talk) 05:17, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

There is a separate article for disturbing the peace, and this article cautions readers against confusing the two, but no explanation is offered as to any distinction. Both articles seem to cover the same concept. Both articles use "breach" and "disturb" more or less interchangeably. Both articles are short, disturbing the peace especially so. As User:Cutler notes on Talk:Disturbing_the_peace, Encyclopedia Brittanica says of disturbing the peace that it's "also called Breach Of The Peace". There may be jurisdictional differences as to definition and application, but I think these would be better treated as variations in the context of a general article. Daf (talk) 06:38, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Indeed! Article states "Not to be confused with disturbing the peace", but what are the differences?! -- (talk) 22:56, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
There seems to be no opposition to such a change. It has been two years. This should take place soon. Jbbdude (talk) 04:07, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

England and Wales[edit]

I'm not sure who wrote that in England and Wales Breach of the Peace has been superseded by the Public Order Act. As an English police officer, I can assure you that we arrest for Breach of the Peace every day. It's one of the commonest of all arrests, since it's often used in domestics or street fights to rapidly separate the parties. -- Necrothesp 17:10, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

My understanding is that although there is a power to restrain breaches of the peace by force (including arrest), it is not actually a distinct offence at common law or otherwise, and a "bind-over" is a preventative order, not a sentence (or "punishment").James500 (talk) 16:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Also see Queen's peace#Enforcement. It seems to agree with this. James500 (talk) 16:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I should also say that in Scotland it is a distinct offence and it has a considerably broader scope. James500 (talk) 16:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


The case (R v Howell [1981] 3 WLR 501 CA) & Bibby v Chief Conststable of Essex gives guidance that states:

A breach of the peace occurs wherever harm is actually done or is likely to be done to a person or in his presence his property, or a person is in fear of being so harmed, through an assault, an affray, a riot, unlawful assembly or other disturbance

I can't find the relevant sources for this currently, if anyone is bored it may be worth looking at right now. Lukeyboyuk (talk) 00:33, 20 March 2009


I'm a bit concerned about the third paragraph under the heading "Public order" that mentions "constables (not just police)". The term "constable" as well as being a rank within the police is also a legal term of art. 'Any' police officer is a constable. So to have the phrase "constables (not just police)" seems a bit misleading. Proposal for removal? LosHavros (talk) 18:59, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I would tend to agree, unless there is something that states someone other than a Police constable can arrest to prevent a Breach of the Peace.Lukeyboyuk (talk) 00:17, 20 March 2200 (UTC)

Perhaps it's relating to Special Constables who are not Police?


The constitutional law bit belongs under parliamentary privilege/ Article One of the United States Constitution#Section 6: Compensation, privilege, restriction on holding civil office and is misleading here. The rest needs rewriting to reflect current English law, it is largely inaccurate at the moment. However, is there a U.S. dimension? Can citizens be arrested for disturbing the peace and is it the same thing?Cutler (talk) 13:09, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

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