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LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN BRITAIN AND THE USA

 

The principal law enforcement agencies of the federal government are the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Service. The jurisdiction of federal law enforcement agencies is limited to the governments power to regulate interstate commerce, impose taxes, and enforce constitutional and federal law.

Department of justice agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Federal Bureau of Investigation deals with bank robberies, kidnappings, terrorism, and violation of other federal laws and provides training, identification, and laboratory services to local police. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigates alcohol and tobacco smuggling, bombings, and violations of federal firearms and arson laws. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigates cases involving illicit narcotics and drugs. The U.S. Marshals Service has responsibility for safeguarding and transporting federal prisoners and acting as marshals for U.S. courts.

Law enforcement agencies in the Department of Homeland Security include the United States Coast Guard, the Bureau of Border Security, the Secret Service and the United States Customs Service. The United States Coast Guard protects the countrys ports and waterways. The Bureau of Border Security enforces immigration laws and includes the Border Patrol. Primary responsibilities of the Secret Service include protection of the president and vice president and their families and investigation of counterfeiting. The United States Customs Service investigates smuggling and inspects passengers, vehicles, and cargo entering or leaving the country.

Within the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Inspections Service deals with such crimes as mail fraud and misuse of the mails.

In most Western legal systems, the major avowed role of the police is to discourage and investigate crimes, with particular emphases on crime against persons or property and the maintenance of public order, and if able to apprehend suspected perpetrators, to detain them, and inform the appropriate agencies.

Police are often used as an emergency service. They may provide a public safety function at large gatherings, as well as in emergencies, disasters, and search and rescue situations. To provide a prompt response in emergencies, the police often coordinate their operations with fire and emergency medical services. In many countries there is a common emergency service that allows the police, firefighters or medical services to be summoned to an emergency.

Police are also responsible for reporting minor offences by issuing citations which typically may result in the imposition of fines, particularly for violations of traffic law. Police sometimes involve themselves in the maintenance of public order, even where no legal transgressions have occurred for example, in some Australian jurisdictions, people who are drunk and causing a public nuisance may be removed to a drying-out centre until they recover from the effects of the alcohol.

Most countries have a national police force which is controlled by central Government. Basically, two kinds of state police agencies exist in the United States: those with general functions similar to local police and those with limited responsibilities, mainly involving highway patrol on state roads. A city police force is usually organized as one of several departments within the local government. The police are part of the local criminal justice system, which is the means by which society deals with criminals. The system includes the prosecuting attorney's office, the courts, probation offices, and corrections agencies.

Britain has no national police force, although police policy is governed by the central Government's Home Office. Instead, there is a separate police force for each of fifty-two areas into which the country is divided. Each has a police authority a committee of local county councillors and magistrates. The duties of the police are varied, ranging from assisting at accidents to safeguarding public order and dealing with lost property. One of their main functions is, of course, apprehending criminals and would-be criminals. The forces co-operate with each other, but it is unusual for members of one force to operate in another's area unless they are asked to give assistance. This sometimes happens when there has been a very serious crime. The Chief Constable may sometimes ask for the assistance of London's police force, based at New Scotland Yard.

The administrative head of Scotland Yard is the commissioner, who is appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Home Secretary. Beneath the commissioner are a deputy commissioner and four assistant commissioners, each of the latter being in charge of one of four Scotland Yard departments, administration, traffic and transport, criminal investigation (the CID), and police recruitment and training. The CID deals with all aspects of criminal investigation and comprises the criminal record office, fingerprint and photography sections, the company fraud squad, a highly mobile police unit known as the flying squad, the metropolitan police laboratory, and the detective training school.

Scotland Yard keeps extensive files on all known criminals in the United Kingdom. It also has a special branch of police who guard visiting dignitaries, royalty, and statesmen. Finally, Scotland Yard is responsible for maintaining links between British law enforcement agencies and Interpol.

 

VOCABULARY NOTES

polce, n. ; admnstratve/dstrct/local/metropoltan/prvate polce //// ; borough/cty/town/urban polce ; detectve polce ; hghway patrol/traffc polce ; Internatonal Polce ̳ ().

perpetrator, n. .

volaton, n. ; cvl/crmnal volaton / ; flat volaton ; gross volaton ; overt volaton ; tax volaton ; traffc volaton ; volaton of contract ; volaton of law ; volaton of law and order ; volaton of trust .

law enforcement, n. ; law enforcement offcers ; law enforcement nvestgaton ; legal enforcement of law ; legtmate law enforcement .

justce, n. ; civil/criminal justice / ; course of justce ; juvenle justce ; publc justce ; to admnster/to do/to dspense/to dstrbute/to mete out justce .

Securty Servce, n. .

Postal Servce, n. .

Federal Bureau of nvestgaton, n. .

U.S. Marshals Servce, n. .

terrorsm, n. ; nternatonal terrorsm .

probaton, n. ; probaton offcer ; to be put/to be placed on probaton for a year .

crmnal, n. ; accdental/occasonal crmnal ; adult crmnal ; born crmnal ; crmnal at large , ; dangerous crmnal ; habtual crmnal ; petty crmnal ; relapsed crmnal ; state crmnal ; street crmnal ; wanted crmnal , ; war crmnal ; would-be crmnal , ; to turn to crmnal .

VOCABULARY EXERCISES

 

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