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date: 24 July 2024

Law Enforcementlocked

Law Enforcementlocked

  • Angus NurseAngus NurseNottingham Trent University - City Campus

Summary

Law enforcement can be considered in both the “narrow” sense of the policing and enforcement of law and a wider sense of the maintenance of order and reinforcement of societal rules and dominant ideologies. The maintenance of social order, protection of citizens, and prevention of and redress for harms against citizens, property, and nonhuman nature are heavily reliant on law enforcement. Effective criminal justice is arguably dependent on law enforcement as a dominant feature of criminal justice systems that adopt the notion of punishment as a tool of social control. Societal construction of harm and the definition of unacceptable behavior often manifests itself in laws, rules, and regulations that serve as both control mechanisms and expressions of societal norms. Where societal rules, in the form of laws and regulations, are broken, effective law enforcement is essential both to demonstrate societal disapproval of the “deviant” behavior and to provide for social sanction through appropriate redress and retributive justice mechanisms. Accordingly, law enforcement and policing are inextricably linked in the context of providing a means through which serious social harms can be dealt with.

But law enforcement goes far beyond policing, both conceptually and with respect to the mechanisms that are deployed to express society’s disapproval and ultimately secure redress. In a narrow sense, policing can be defined as that which the police (or recognized policing agencies) carry out. This often centers around enforcement of the criminal law and a detection, investigation, and apprehension model inextricably linked to ideas of retributive justice. By contrast, law enforcement is broader, involves civil and criminal justice agencies, and can incorporate administrative and regulatory law mechanisms and even alternative dispute resolution as a means of resolving disputes and ensuring appropriate redress. Thus, law enforcement can also extend beyond the confines of retributive criminal justice to incorporate restorative and rehabilitative justice mechanisms to encourage compliance.

Subjects

  • Courts
  • Policing

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