Law enforcement is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.The term encompasses police, courts, and corrections.
Modern state legal codes use the term peace officer, or law enforcement officer, to include every person vested by the legislating state with police power or authority, traditionally, anyone "sworn or badged, who can arrest any person for a violation of criminal law, is included under the umbrella term of law enforcement.
Although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences such as probation.
Most law enforcement is conducted by some type of law enforcement agency, with the most typical agency fulfilling this role being the police. Social investment in enforcement through such organizations can be massive, both in terms of the resources invested in the activity, and in the number of people professionally engaged to perform those functions.
Law enforcement agencies tend to be limited to operating within a specified jurisdiction. In some cases, jurisdiction may overlap in between organizations; for example, in the United States, each state has its own statewide law enforcement arms, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation is able to act against certain types of crimes occurring in any state. Various specialized segments of society may have their own internal law enforcement arrangements. For example, military organizations may have military police.
An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.
In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society, or the state. Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels.
Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist groups, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, such as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for "protection". Gangs may often be deemed organized crime groups or, under stricter definitions of organized crime, may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. A criminal organization or gang can also be referred to as a mafia, mob, ring, or syndicate; the network, subculture, and community of criminals may be referred to as the underworld. Sociologists define a “mafia” as a type of organized crime group that specializes in the supply of extra-legal protection and quasi-law enforcement. Work on the original “Mafia”, the Sicilian Mafia, which predates the other groups, generated an economic study of organized crime groups and exerted great influence on studies of the Russian mafia, the Chinese triads, Hong Kong mafia, and the Japanese yakuza.
The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their lawful powers include arrest and the use of force legitimized by the state via the monopoly on violence. The term is most commonly associated with the police forces of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from the military and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. Police forces are usually public sector services, funded through taxes.
A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them to arrest criminals and enable them to be convicted in court. A detective may work for the police or privately.
A police officer, also known as an officer, policeman, or a policewoman, is a warranted law employee of a police force. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In some, the use of the rank "officer" is legally reserved for military personnel.
In the United States, a district attorney (DA), state's attorney or state attorney is the chief prosecutor representing a U.S. state in a local government area, typically a county. The exact name and scope of the office varies by state. Alternative titles for the office include county attorney, commonwealth's attorney, solicitor, or county prosecutor.
A special agent is an investigator or detective for a governmental or independent agency, who primarily serves in criminal investigatory positions. Additionally, many federal and state "special agents" operate in "criminal intelligence" based roles as well. Within the U.S. federal law enforcement system, dozens of federal agencies employ federal law enforcement officers, each with different criteria pertaining to the use of the titles Special Agent and Agent.
Special Police, also known as Special Jurisdiction Law Enforcement; usually describes a police force or unit within a police force whose duties and responsibilities are significantly different from other forces in the same country or from other police in the same force, although there is no consistent international definition. A special constable, in most cases, is not a member of a special police force (SPF); in countries in the Commonwealth of Nations and often elsewhere, a special constable is a voluntary or part-time member of a national or local police force or a person involved in law enforcement who is not a police officer but has some of the powers of a police officer.
Under the Constitution of Finland, everyone is entitled to have their case heard by a court or an authority appropriately and without undue delay. This is achieved through the judicial system of Finland.
Racketeering is a genre of organized crime in which the perpetrators set up a coercive, fraudulent, or otherwise illegal scheme to repeatedly collect money or other profit.
Law enforcement in the United States is one of three major components of the criminal justice system of the United States, along with courts and corrections. Although each component operates semi-independently, the three collectively form a chain leading from an investigation of suspected criminal activity to the administration of criminal punishment.
The Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) is a law enforcement agency of the State of Delaware and is a division of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS).
Law enforcement in Albania is the responsibility of several agencies. The responsibility for most tasks lies with the Albanian State Police, a national police agency, which is under the authority of Ministry of Internal Affairs. Examples of other agencies with limited policing powers are the Municipal Police, which has administrative functions and operates in the local level. They are controlled by mayors.
In many countries, particularly those with a federal system of government, there may be several law enforcement agencies, police or police-like organizations, each serving different levels of government and enforcing different subsets of the applicable law.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to law enforcement:
A security guard is a person employed by a government or private party to protect the employing party's assets from a variety of hazards by enforcing preventative measures. Security guards do this by maintaining a high-visibility presence to deter illegal and inappropriate actions, looking for signs of crime or other hazards, taking action to minimize damage, and reporting any incidents to their clients and emergency services, as appropriate.
A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.
The Criminal Investigations Division conducts investigations in support of the department's civil, criminal, and administrative cases. These investigations involve such areas as homeland security; Internet crimes against children; high technology computer crimes; drug nuisance abatement; environmental crimes; tobacco tax enforcement; airport, harbors, and highways; cold homicide cases; and other criminal and civil matters.
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