75. Apart from flagrant cases, I seriously doubt that the courts can exercise any effective control over the exercise of police discretion in such cases. So far as arrests in public places are concerned, I do not quarrel with the existence of this discretion. The police's job of maintaining the peace and enforcing the criminal law is difficult enough without fearing being regularly "second‑guessed" about every mistake of judgment in such circumstances. But if I agree that a police officer should be able on evidence such as existed here to arrest a suspect in a public place, I do not think it reasonable that he should be permitted to enter a private home without consent unless he has a warrant permitting him to do so. Invasion of a person's home, in circumstances like these, is too high a price to pay to prevent the possible escape of some criminals, especially for non‑violent crimes like the one alleged in the present case. Not only would such a practice invade the owner's security and privacy; it would often lead to violence as the facts of this case attest. This can, in my view, be even more likely where the owner of the home is not the suspected offender. All the more so if, as happened in Eccles v. Bourque, the police are not in uniform.
Get a full legal research memo!
The above passage should not be considered legal advice. Reliable answers to complex legal questions require comprehensive research memos. To learn more visit www.alexsei.com.