Law enforcement agency
Overview
 
In North American English
North American English
North American English is the variety of the English language of North America, including that of the United States and Canada. Because of their shared histories and the similarities between the pronunciation, vocabulary and accent of American English and Canadian English, the two spoken languages...

, a law enforcement agency (LEA) is a government agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 responsible for the enforcement of the law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s.

Outside North America, such organizations are called police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names (e.g. sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

's department; investigative police services in the USA are often called bureaus
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 (e.g. FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, USMS
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

, ICE
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

, CBP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

, ATF
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

, DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

, USSS
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 etc.)).


LEAs which have their ability to apply their powers restricted in some way are said to operate within a jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

.

LEAs will have some form of geographic restriction on their ability to apply their powers.
Encyclopedia
In North American English
North American English
North American English is the variety of the English language of North America, including that of the United States and Canada. Because of their shared histories and the similarities between the pronunciation, vocabulary and accent of American English and Canadian English, the two spoken languages...

, a law enforcement agency (LEA) is a government agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 responsible for the enforcement of the law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s.

Outside North America, such organizations are called police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names (e.g. sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

's department; investigative police services in the USA are often called bureaus
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 (e.g. FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, USMS
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

, ICE
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

, CBP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

, ATF
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

, DEA
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

, USSS
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 etc.)).

Other terms defined in this article
local police
international law enforcement agency
multinational law enforcement agency
federal law enforcement agency
federal police
national law enforcement agency
national police
religious police
police
military police
provost
gendarmerie
civilian police
secret police

Law enforcement agency jurisdiction

LEAs which have their ability to apply their powers restricted in some way are said to operate within a jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

.

LEAs will have some form of geographic restriction on their ability to apply their powers. The LEA might be able to apply its powers within a country, for example the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

, within a division of a country, for example the Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n state Queensland Police
Queensland Police
The Queensland Police Service is the law enforcement agency responsible for policing the Australian state of Queensland. In 1990, the Queensland Police Force was officially renamed the Queensland Police Service and the old motto of "Firmness with Courtesy" was changed to "With Honour We Serve"...

, or across a collection of countries, for example international organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

s such as Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

, or the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

's Europol
Europol
Europol is the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. It became fully operational on 1 July 1999....

.

LEAs which operate across a collection of countries tend to assist in law enforcement activities, rather than directly enforcing laws, by facilitating the sharing of information necessary for law enforcement between LEAs within those countries, for example Europol
Europol
Europol is the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. It became fully operational on 1 July 1999....

 has no executive powers.

Sometimes a LEA’s jurisdiction is determined by the complexity or seriousness of the non compliance with a law. Some countries determine the jurisdiction in these circumstances by means of policy and resource allocation between agencies, for example in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 take on complex serious matters referred to it by an agency and the agency will undertake its own investigations of less serious or complex matters by consensus, while other countries have laws which decide the jurisdiction, for example in the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 some matters are required by law to be referred to other agencies if they are of a certain level of seriousness or complexity, for example cross state boundary kidnapping in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is escalated to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

. Differentiation of jurisdiction based on the seriousness and complexity of the non compliance either by law or by policy and consensus can coexist in countries.

A LEA which has a wide range of powers but whose ability is restricted geographically, typically to an area which is only part of a country, is typically referred to as local police or territorial police
Territorial police force
The phrase Territorial Police Force varies in precise meaning according to the country to which it is related, generally distinguishing a force whose area of responsibility is defined by sub-national boundaries from others which deal with the entire country or a restricted range of...

. Other LEAs have a jurisdiction defined by the type of laws they enforce or assist in enforcing. For example, Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 does not work with political, military, religious, or racial matters.

A LEA’s jurisdiction usually also includes the governing bodies they support, and the LEA itself.

Organization and structure of law enforcement agency jurisdiction

Jurisdictionally, there can be an important difference between international LEAs and multinational LEAs, even though both are often referred to as "international", even in official documents. An international law enforcement agency has jurisdiction and or operates in multiple countries and across State
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 borders, for example Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

.

A multinational law enforcement agency will typically operate in only one country, or one division of a country, but is made up of personnel from several countries, for example the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. international LEAs are typically also multinational, for example Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

, but multinational LEAs are not typically international.

Within a country, the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies can be organised and structured in a number of ways to provide law enforcement throughout the country. A law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction can be for the whole country or for a division or sub-division within the country.

Law enforcement agency jurisdiction within divisions of a country

LEA jurisdiction for a division within a country can typically be at more than one level, for example at the division level, that is state, province, or territory level, and for example at the sub division level, that is county, shire, or municipality or metropolitan area level. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 for example, each state has its own LEAs. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 for example, typically each state and county or city has its own LEAs.

As a result, because both Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 are federations and have federal LEAs, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 has two levels of law enforcement and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 has multiple levels of law enforcement, Federal, Tribal, State, County, City, Town, Village, special Jurisdiction and others.

Division of law enforcement agency jurisdiction into operations areas

Often a LEA’s jurisdiction will be geographically divided into operations areas for administrative and logistical efficiency reasons. An operations area is often called a command or an office.

While the operations area of a LEA is sometimes referred to as a jurisdiction, any LEA operations area usually still has legal jurisdiction in all geographic areas the LEA operates, but by policy and consensus the operations area does not normally operate in other geographical operations areas of the LEA. For example, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

’s Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan police
Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

 is divided in to 32 Borough Operational Command Units, based on the London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s, and the New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 is divided into 76 precincts.

Sometimes the one legal jurisdiction is covered by more than one LEA, again for administrative and logistical efficiency reasons, and-or arising from policy and-or historical reasons. For example, the jurisdiction for English and Welsh law is covered by a number of LEAs called constabularies, with each constabulary still having legal jurisdiction over the whole area covered by English and Welsh law, but they do not normally operate out of their areas without formal liaison between the constabularies.

The primary difference between separate agencies and operational areas within the one legal jurisdiction is the degree of flexibility to move resources between versus within agencies. When multiple LEAs cover the one legal jurisdicition, each agency still typically organises itself into operations areas.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 within a state's legal jurisdcition, county and city police agencies do not have full legal jurisdictional flexibility throughout the state, and this has led in part to mergers of adjacent police agencies.

Federal and national law enforcement agency jurisdiction

When a LEA’s jurisdiction is for the whole country, it is usually one of two broad types, either federal or national.
Federal law enforcement agency jurisdiction and responsibilities

When the country has a federal
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 a whole of country LEA is referred to as a federal law enforcement agency.

The responsibilities of a federal LEA vary from country to country. Federal LEA responsibilities are typically countering fraud against the federation, immigration and border control regarding people and goods, investigating currency counterfeiting, policing of airports and protection of designated national infrastructure, national security, and the protection of the country’s head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and of other designated very important persons, for example the Protective Service of the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

, or the Protective Mission of the United States Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

; and the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

A federal police agency is a federal LEA which also has the typical police responsibilities of social order and public safety
Public Safety
Public safety involves the prevention of and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public from significant danger, injury/harm, or damage, such as crimes or disasters .-See also:* By nation...

 as well as federal law enforcement responsibilities. However, a federal police agency will not usually exercise its powers at a divisional level. Such exercising of powers is typically via specific arrangements between the federal and divisional governing bodies.

Examples of federal law enforcement agencies are the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 (Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

), Central Bureau of Investigation
Central Bureau of Investigation
The Central Bureau of Investigation is a government agency of India that serves as a criminal investigation body, national security agency and intelligence agency. It was established on 1 April 1963 and evolved from the Special Police Establishment founded in 1941...

 (India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

), Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, Federal Protective Service
Federal Protective Service
Federal Protective Service may refer to:*Federal Protective Service , responsible for the security of Federal buildings*Federal Protective Service , the successor of the KGB Ninth Chief Directorate, now an independent organization...

, (United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

), Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

), and the State Security Service
State Security Service
State Security Service is the primary domestic intelligence agency of Nigeria. It is primarily responsible for the gathering of intelligence within the country and for the protection of senior government officials, particularly the President and state governors. It is one of three successor...

, (Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

).

The Federal Protective Service
Federal Protective Service
Federal Protective Service may refer to:*Federal Protective Service , responsible for the security of Federal buildings*Federal Protective Service , the successor of the KGB Ninth Chief Directorate, now an independent organization...

 (FPS) is a component of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate and is responsible for law enforcement and security of nearly 9,000 federally owned and leased buildings, courthouses, properties, and other federal assets and the personnel associated with those assets. The Federal Protective Service is a national federal law enforcement agency of the United States and can be characterized as the U.S. government's federal police force. The FPS has jurisdiction over any U.S. government interest or Homeland Security sanction (40 U.S.C. 1315). FPS is deployed for national security events, natural disasters, terrorist attacks/threats and other events throughout the United States.

A federated approach to the organisation of a country does not necessarily indicate the nature of the organisation of law enforcement agencies within the country. Some countries, for example, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 (Federal Police (Austria)
Federal Police (Austria)
The Federal Police is the law enforcement agency of Austria. The Austrian Federal Police were formed in July 2005 as one formal unit of police. Before 2005 the police system operated the Gendarmerie for most of the country, and the Polizei in the heavy city and urban areas such as Vienna,...

), and Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 (Law enforcement in Belgium), have a relatively unified approach to law enforcement, but still have operationally separate units for federal law enforcement and divisional policing. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 has a highly fractured approach to law enforcement agencies generally, and this is reflected in the country's federal law enforcement agencies (Federal law enforcement in the United States).
Jurisdictional relationship between federal LEAs and federated divisional LEAs

In a federation, there will typically be separate LEAs with jurisdictions for each division within the federation. A federal LEA will have primary responsibility for laws which affect the federation as whole, and which have been enacted by the governing body of the federation.

Members of a federal LEA may be given jurisdiction within a division of a federation for laws enacted by the governing bodies of the divisions either by the relevant division within the federation, or by the federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

's governing body. For example, the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 is a federal agency and has the legal power to enforce the laws enacted by any Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n state where that law has a federal aspect.

Typically federal LEAs have relatively narrow police responsibilities, the individual divisions within the federation usually establish their own police agencies to enforce laws within the division. However, in some countries federal agencies have jurisdiction in divisions of the federation.

This typically happens when the division does not have its own independent status and is dependent on the federation. For example, the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 is the police agency with jurisdiction in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

’s dependent territories, Jervis Bay Territory, Cocos Islands, Antarctic Territory, and Christmas Island Similarly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (RCMP) is a federal agency and is the police agency for Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

’s three territories
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

, Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

, Nunavut
Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, and Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

.

Note that this is a direct jurisdictional responsibility and is different from the situation when a governing body makes arrangements with another governing body's LEA to provide law enforcement for its subjects. This latter type of arrangement is described under Establishment and constitution of law enforcement agencies.

Some federations escalate non compliance with laws with divisional or federal laws which involve multiple divisions within the federation to a federal LEA. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 for example escalates kidnapping to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

.

In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, states liaise directly with each other when non compliance with laws crosses state boundaries. Some countries provide law enforcement on land and in buildings owned or controlled by the federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 by using a federal LEA, for example the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

’s Department of Homeland Security is responsible for some aspects of federal property law enforcement.

Other countries, for example Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, provide law enforcement for federal property via federal LEAs and the LEAs for the division of the federation in which the property is located.

Typically LEAs working in different jurisdictions which overlap in the type of law non compliance actively establish mechanisms for cooperation and even establish joint operations and joints task forces. Often, members of a LEA working outside of their normal jurisdiction on joint operations or task force are sworn in as special members of the host jurisdiction.
National law enforcement agency jurisdiction and responsibility

A national law enforcement agency is a LEA in a country which does not have divisions capable of making their own laws. A national LEA will have the combined responsibilities that federal LEAs and divisional LEAs would have in a federated
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 country.

National LEAs are usually divided into operations areas.

A national police agency is a national LEA which also has the typical police responsibilities of social order and public safety as well as national law enforcement responsibilities. Examples of countries with national police agencies are New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

.

To help avoid confusion over jurisdictional responsibility, some federal LEAs explicitly advise that they are not a national law enforcement agency, for example the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 does this.

Types of law enforcement agency and responsibility

LEAs can be responsible for the enforcement of laws affecting the behaviour of people or the general community, for example the New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

, or the behaviour of commercial organisations and corporations, for example the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is an independent Australian government body that acts as Australia's corporate regulator...

, of for the benefit of the country as a whole, for example the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

’s Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes and the payment of some forms of state support....

.

Religious law enforcement

A LEA can be responsible for enforcing secular
Secularity
Secularity is the state of being separate from religion.For instance, eating and bathing may be regarded as examples of secular activities, because there may not be anything inherently religious about them...

 law and-or religious law, for example Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 or Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

. The significant majority of LEAs around the world are secular
Secularity
Secularity is the state of being separate from religion.For instance, eating and bathing may be regarded as examples of secular activities, because there may not be anything inherently religious about them...

, their governing bodies separating religious matters from the governance of their subjects. Religious law enforcement agencies, for example Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

’s Mutaween
Mutaween
The word mutaween most literally means "volunteers" in the Arabic language, and is commonly used as a casual term for the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police of Saudi Arabia....

, exist where full separation of government and religious doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 has not occurred, and are generally referred to as police agencies, typically religious police, because their primary responsibility is for social order within their jurisdiction and the relevant social order being highly codified as laws.

Internal Affairs

Often, a LEA will have a specific internal unit
Internal affairs (law enforcement)
The internal affairs division of a law enforcement agency investigates incidents and plausible suspicions of lawbreaking and professional misconduct attributed to officers on the force...

 to ensure that the LEA is complying with relevant laws, for example the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

's Office of Professional Responsibility. In some countries and-or divisions within countries, specialised and-or separate LEAs are established to ensure that other LEAs comply with laws, for example the Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n state New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption. LEA internal self compliance units and external LEA compliance agencies coexist in many countries. Names given to LEA internal self compliance units are typically, Internal Affairs, Internal Investigations, Professional Standards.

Police agencies

Many law enforcement agencies are police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 agencies that have a broad range powers and responsibilities. A police agency, however, also often has a range of responsibilities not specifically related to law enforcement. These responsibilities relate to social order and public safety. While this understanding of policing, being more encompassing than just law enforcement has grown with and is commonly understood by society, it is recognised formally by scholars and academics. A police agency’s jurisdiction for social order and public safety will normally be the same as its jurisdiction for law enforcement.

Military law enforcement

Military organisations often have law enforcement units. These units within the military organisation are generally referred to as military police
Military police
Military police are police organisations connected with, or part of, the military of a state. The word can have different meanings in different countries, and may refer to:...

. This may refer to:
  • a section of the military
    Military
    A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

     solely responsible for policing the armed forces
    Armed forces
    The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

     (referred to as provosts
    Provost (military police)
    Provosts are military police whose duties are policing solely within the Armed Forces, as opposed to Gendarmerie duties in the civilian population. However, many countries use their gendarmerie for provost duties....

    )
  • a section of the military responsible for policing in both the armed forces and in the civilian population (most gendarmerie
    Gendarmerie
    A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

    s, such as the French Gendarmerie)
  • a section of the military solely responsible for policing the civilian population (such as the Romanian Gendarmerie)
  • the preventative police (with military status) of a Brazilian state (Polícia Militar)


The exact usage and meaning of the terms military police, provost, and gendarmie varies from country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 to country.

Non-military law enforcement agencies are sometimes referred to as civilian police, but usually only in contexts where they need to be distinguished from military police. However, they may still possess a military structure and protocol.

In most countries, the term law enforcement agency when used formally includes agencies other than only police agencies. The term law enforcement agency is often used in the United States of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to refer to police agencies, however, it also includes agencies with peace officer
Peace officer
A law enforcement officer , in North America, is any public-sector employee or agent whose duties involve the enforcement of laws. The phrase can include police officers, prison officers, customs officers, immigration officers, bailiffs, probation officers, parole officers, auxiliary officers, and...

 status, such as the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division
ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division
The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division is the law enforcement arm of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals...

 or agencies which prosecute criminal acts. A county prosecutor or district attorney is considered to be the chief law enforcement officer of a county.

Other responsibilities of a law enforcement agency

Other responsibilities of LEAs are typically related to assisting subjects to avoid non compliance with a law, assisting subjects to remain safe and secure, assisting subjects after a safety impacting event. For example:
  • policing
    • social order
      • public incident mediation
      • pre-empting anti social behaviour
      • dangerous event public logistics
    • public safety
      • general search and rescue
      • crowd control
  • regulation
  • services and facilities
  • disaster victim identification
  • education and awareness campaigns
    • victim prevention and avoidance
    • law compliance
    • public safety


Many LEAs have administrative and service responsibilities, often as their major responsibility, as well as their law enforcement responsibilities. This is typical of agencies such as customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 or tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

ation agencies, which provide services and facilities to allow subjects to comply with relevant laws as their primary responsibilities.

Regulation

Many LEAs are also involved in the monitoring and-or application of regulation
Regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

s and codes of practice. See for example Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice
Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice
The Australian Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice is a self-regulatory code adopted by free-to-air broadcasters in the Australian media...

, Building code
Building code
A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the...

, Code enforcement
Code Enforcement
Code enforcement, sometimes encompassing law enforcement, is the act of enforcing a set of rules, principles, or laws and insuring observance of a system of norms or customs. An authority usually enforces a civil code, a set of rules, or a body of laws and compel those subject to their authority...

. Monitoring of the application of regulations and codes of practice is not normally considered law enforcement. However, the consistent non-compliance by a subject with regulations or codes of practice may result in the revocation of a licence for the subject to operate, and operating without a licence is typically illegal. Also, the failure to apply codes of practice can impact other subjects’ safety and life, which can also be illegal.

Establishment and constitution of law enforcement agencies

Typically a LEA is established and constituted by the governing body it is supporting, and the personnel making up the LEA are from the governing body’s subjects, for example the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 is established and constituted by virtue of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

By Definition, federal LEAs can only be established by the governing body of the relevant federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

, divisional and sub divisional LEAs can only be established by their relevant governing bodies, and national LEAs can only be established by the national governing body of a country.

For reasons of either logistical efficiency or policy, some divisions with a country will not establish their own LEAs but will instead make arrangements with another LEA, typically from the same country, to provide law enforcement within the division. For example, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (RCMP) is a federal agency and is contracted by most of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's provinces
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 and many municipalities to police those divisions, even though law enforcement in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 is constitutionally a divisional responsibility. This arrangement has been achieved by formal agreement between those divisions and the RCMP and reduces the number of agencies policing the same geographical area. Similarly, the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 (AFP) is a federal agency and is the contracted police agency for the Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and is the smallest self-governing internal territory...

. and Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance...



In circumstances where a country or division within a country is not able to establish stable or effective LEAs, typically police agencies, the country might invite other countries to provide personnel, experience, and organisational structure to constitute a LEA, for example the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands , also known as Operation Helpem Fren, was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the Governor-General of the Solomon Islands...

 which has a Participating Police Force working in conjunction with the Solomon Islands Police Force, or where the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 is already providing an administrative support capability within the country, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 may directly establish and constitute a LEA on behalf of the country, for example for Timor-Leste
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

 from 1999 to 2002.

Powers and law exemptions of a law enforcement agency

To enable a LEA to prevent, detect, and investigate non compliance with laws, the LEA is endowed with powers by its governing body which are not available to non LEA subjects of a governing body. Typically, a LEA is empowered to varying degrees to:
  • collect information about subjects in the LEA's jurisdiction
  • intrusively search for information and evidence related to the non compliance with a law
  • seize evidence of non compliance with a law
  • seize property and assets from subjects
  • direct subjects to provide information related to the non compliance with a law
  • arrest and detain subjects, depriving them of their liberty, but not incarcerate subjects, for alleged non compliance with a law
  • lawfully deceive subjects

These powers are not available to subjects other than LEAs within the LEA's jurisdiction and are typically subject to judicial and civil overview.

Usually, these powers are only allowed when it can be shown that a subject is probably already not complying with a law. For example, to undertake an intrusive search, typically a LEA must make an argument and convince a judicial officer of the need to undertake the intrusive search on the basis that it will help detect and-or prove non compliance with a law by a specified subject. The judicial officer, if they agree, will then issue a legal instrument, typically called a Search warrant
Search warrant
A search warrant is a court order issued by a Magistrate, judge or Supreme Court Official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found....

, to the LEA, which must be presented to the relevant subject if possible.

Lawful deception and law exemption by a law enforcement agency

Subjects who do not comply with laws will usually seek to avoid detection by a LEA. When required, in order for the LEA to detect and investigate subjects not complying with laws, the LEA must be able to undertake its activities secretly from the non complying subject. This, however, may require the LEA to explicitly not comply with a law other subjects must comply with. To allow the LEA to operate and comply with the law, it is given lawful exemption to undertake secret activities. Secret activities by a LEA are often referred to as covert operations.

To deceive a subject and carryout its activities, a LEA may be lawfully allowed to secretly:
  • Create and operate false identities and personalities and organisations, often referred to as under cover operations or assumed identities, for example Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ’s Australian Federal Police
    Australian Federal Police
    The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

     by virtue of Part 1AC of the Crimes Act 1914
  • Allow and assist the illicit movement of licit and illicit substances and wares, sometimes partially substituted with benign materials, often referred to as controlled operations, for example Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ’s LEAs by virtue of Part 1AB of the Crimes Act 1914
  • Listen to and copy communications between subjects, often referred to as telecommunications interception or wire tapping when the communication medium is electronic in nature, for example the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    's Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     by virtue of United States Code 18 Title 18 Part I Chapter 119 Section 2516, or Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ’s LEAs by virtue of Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
  • Intrusively observe, listen to, and track subjects, often referred to as technical operations, for example Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    ’s LEAs by virtue of the Surveillance Devices Act 2004

to typically collect information about and evidence of non compliance with a law and identify other non complying subjects.

Lawful deception and utilisation of law exemption by a LEA is typically subject to very strong judicial and-or open civil overview. For example, the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

's controlled operations are subject to open civil review by its governing body, the Parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

.

Other exemptions from laws

Law enforcement agencies have other exemptions from laws to allow them to operate in a practical way. For example, many jurisdictions have laws which forbid animals from entering certain areas for health and safety reasons. LEAs are typically exempted from these laws to allow dogs to be used for search and rescue, drug search, explosives search, chase and arrest, etc. This type of exemption is not unique to LEAs. Sight assist dogs
Guide dog
Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles.Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, they are partially color blind and are not capable of interpreting street signs...

 are also typically exempted from access restrictions.

Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 is an international organisation and is essentially stateless but must operate from some physical location. Interpol is protected from certain laws of the country where it is physically located.

Law enforcement agencies and society

Because the enforcement of laws has, by definition, a major impact on the society the laws apply to, the agencies which enforce the laws have a specific relevance to the societies in which they operate.

Some LEAs have been immortalised in history, literature, and popular media, for example the United Kingdom's Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London, UK. It derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Scotland Yard entrance became...

 and the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

.

A small number of LEAs, particularly secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 forces which are unnacountable or have unrestricted powers, are not generally respected by their governing bodies’ subjects, due to the negative impact they have on the subjects.

Many fictional LEAs have been created in popular media and literature. See for example List of fictional secret police and intelligence organizations and List of fictional police forces.

See also

  • Code enforcement
    Code Enforcement
    Code enforcement, sometimes encompassing law enforcement, is the act of enforcing a set of rules, principles, or laws and insuring observance of a system of norms or customs. An authority usually enforces a civil code, a set of rules, or a body of laws and compel those subject to their authority...

  • Law enforcement organisation
    Law enforcement organisation
    A law enforcement organisation is an organisation of parties, either individuals or other organisations or both, associated with law enforcement, typically with some common interest....

  • Specialist law enforcement agency
    Specialist law enforcement agency
    A specialist law enforcement agency is a law enforcement agency which specialises in the types of laws it enforces, or types of activities it undertakes, or geography it enforces laws in, or these in combination....


Lists of law enforcement agencies

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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