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LSJ 200 Law Societies and Justice

Published : 16-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

" Why do we have the Police? Hypothetically speaking, what would happen if we did not have the police?"

Answer:

There is no gain stating the obvious fact that the police forms an integral aspect of the legal system of a society, and the police officers play an integral role in the enforcement of laws and regulations in the society. In a society otherwise infested with crimes, violence and terrorist attacks, the police can only enforce laws, bring control and ensure social stability to the largest possible extent. The police officers, right from monitoring criminal activity and taking part in the community patrols, investigate criminal cases, punish the criminals and bring justice to the society. Hence, it is very difficult to imagine a safe and secure society without the intervention of the police officers.

A  few people have claimed that the negative impact of policing far outweighs its benefits, and hence it might be useful to see what would a society look like without the police administration. The first major change the society would notice is the uncontrolled rate of social crimes being perpetrated every hour. It is undeniable that often once a person is killed or a terrorist bomb blast has already occurred, the dead people cannot be resuscitated to life, nor can the police help the injured ones heal faster than they normally would. However, nobody would be accountable for any harm being done, any loss or damage being caused by one’s action. This would increase the frequency of the criminal rates, and this will eventually lead to unrestrained crime rates including robbery, theft, terrorist attacks and murder. One would go on perpetrating sexual assault, molestation and even murder, without facing any consequence, and thus the society would fail to prevent the possibility of any harm in future as well. It would be interesting to state in this connection that there are many people such as Van Fossen, who have dismissed the importance of police stating that most of the problems and conflicts can easily be resolved with the help of mediation, negotiation and reconciliation (Brewer et al., 2016). Hence, in absence of the police authorities, minor social crimes such as theft and minor domestic violence will be settled through mutual discussion and with considerable success as well. However, there will be people who would commit even greater crimes of serious consequences, they might think killing, raping maiming people, and no round of discussion or mediation can prove to be effective in sorting out the crimes of such grave consequences. Maybe most of the people in a given society would escape confronting the possibility of getting murdered, not every second woman would be assaulted or raped, not every individual would commit domestic violence on his or her spouse. However, there would be some, and without the police intervention, life for them would be short, brutish and nasty.

Again, it is believed that the police system as representatives of the state they work for, carry out nothing but exploitation and oppression with prison and enslavement, in the name of justice (Crystal, 2017) . In such a situation, the society without police would not employ the use of aggressive justice system, and would rather replace the same with restorative or transformative justice. Thus, there would be problems in the society, but the way it would be solved would be different. In a society without the police intervention, the victims and the offenders would be asked to mediate a restitution agreement to the satisfaction of each, and would also ask for active involvement of the community (Tugend, 2017). However, no prisoner would be locked up in cages, nor would be beaten up or would be sentenced to death. The legal administration would be more liberal, that would increase the crime rates by leaps and bounds. Chaos and anarchy would ensue as soon as police system is being eliminated from the society. Violence, murder, robbery, human trafficking and rape would increase at a high rate, and the weaker ones would fail to defend themselves and life would be insecure without the police. The criminals would get an opportunity to do anything to transgress the law, as they would know that nobody can detain, imprison or even arrest them, and corrupt and more powerful sections of the society would use their money to get rid of the charges of offense. The police men act as the expedient mediators in the society, and the police do not merely enforce the laws, but more importantly, it helps in smoothing out issues, keeping the society more structured and legally organized (Stringham, 2017). Without the police, the crime rates would definitely increase, but even if administrative law at a macro level can be ensured by introducing a military form of administration, there still would be chaos and conflict with no one coming to solve the problems of loud parties and traffic jam.

In a Utopian society, everything would be perfect and there would be no need of police as there would be no report of violence and abuse. However, this society is not a Utopian, and hence police would be required. If the police officers are asking for bribes, anti-corruption laws should be re-framed and made more rigid, or if any police officer is misusing his power, he should be replaced by a man wearing a similar badge. However, the police system cannot be eliminated, as it helps in bringing law and order, and ensuring peace and stability in the society that helps in controlling criminal activities, if not completely eliminating them.

References

Brewer, J. D., Wilford, R., Guelke, A., Hume, I., & Moxon-Browne, E. (2016). The police, public order and the state: policing in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, the USA, Israel, South Africa and China. Springer.

Crystal, J. (2017). Opinion | When Police Are Poor Role Models for One Another. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/opinion/when-police-are-poor-role-models-for-one-another.html

Stringham, E. (2017). Is America Facing a Police Crisis?. WSJ. Retrieved 3 November 2017, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-america-facing-a-police-crisis-1469828089

Tugend, A. (2017). Defining the Role of the Police in the Community. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/21/us/defining-the-role-of-the-police-in-the-community.html

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