Law enforcement and society
Law enforcement however has only ever constituted a small portion of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different contexts, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order and the provision of services.
In some societies, in the late 18th century and early 19th century, these developed within the context of maintaining a layered societal structure and the protection of property.
In the United Kingdom in the late 18th century:
The modern police department was born out of...the desire of the wealthy to restructure ... society. The swelling population of urban poor, whose miniscule [sic] wages could hardly sustain them, heightened the need for police protection
In the United States in the 19th century:
The police role was only minimally directed at law enforcement. Its primary function was serving as the enforcement arm of the reigning polical power, protecting property, and keeping control of the ever increasing numbers of foreign immigrants
[t]he great and chief end ... of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property
... as the necessity of civil government gradually grows up with the acquisition of valuable property, so the principal causes which naturally introduce subordination gradually grow up with the growth of that valuable property ... Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions ... The appropriation of herds and flocks which introduced an inequality of fortune was that which first gave rise to regular government. Till there be property there can be no government, the very end of which is to secure wealth, and to defend the rich from the poor
Those who own the country ought to govern it.
According to Monaghan, this:
was one of his favorite maxims
... our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
Given that the crimes of governments and associated elite institutions have historically been greater than those of the "smaller" criminals they prosecuted, and that such institutional influence has been perceived, by some groups,[who?] as a promoter of violence, alienation and socioeconomic disparity which gives rise to crime, the institutional role of police has been criticized.
Law enforcement power
- Brodeur, Jean-Paul; Eds., Kevin R. E. McCormick and Livy A. Visano (1992). ”High Policing and Low Policing: Remarks about the Policing of Political Activities,” Understanding Policing. Canadian Scholars’ Press. pp. 284–285, 295. ISBN 1-55130-005-2.
- Walker, Samuel (1977). A Critical History of Police Reform: The Emergence of Professionalism. Lexington, MT: Lexington Books. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-669-01292-7.
- Neocleous, Mark (2004). Fabricating Social Order: A Critical History of Police Power. Pluto Press. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0-7453-1489-1.
- Siegel, Larry J. (2005). Criminolgy. Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 515,516. 
- John Locke: Second Treatise of Civil Government: Chapter 9
- Adam Smith - An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations - The Adam Smith Institute
- http://www.bartleby.com/73/764.html Frank Monaghan, John Jay, chapter 15, p. 323 (1935)
- Wage Slavery - Human nature, law, and war