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Role of Police Agencies in Law Enforcement

For many years law enforcement agencies from different countries put little effort in controlling white color crimes. There were few laws enacted to deal with these crimes. Other factors that contributed to this were the lack of knowledge on how to identify white color crimes among the public as well as law enforcement agency crimes. The police have hardly had any authority to control most of the white color crimes. In addition, the lack of expertise among the police also contributed to this problem. Moreover, there were not enough resources to cater to these problems. Since 1473 when the law of theft has emerged owing to Carrier’s case (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 253), the discovery of the crimes has significantly increased, though the number of crimes as such has also become higher. As different countries advance in technology, there has been an increase in knowledge and methods of detecting white color crimes as well. Their adverse effects on society, as well as on the country’s economy, have led to the police being given the authority to enforce laws to control criminal behaviors with respect to these crimes. Their roles include enforcing laws that have been established to control criminal behavior both as presented in the actual case and as possibility that could have taken place. The aim of this paper is to consider some of the roles of the police agencies in enforcing these laws.

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It is the responsibility of the police agency to investigate various criminal behaviors in advance instead of waiting until the crime has been committed. One of the main roles of the police agency is to observe various criminal behaviors that may occur in the country and look for methods to control their occurrences. For example, the failure to fulfill this function led to the Great Depression that the world has faced in the 1930s. Back then, white collar crime “was at the center of the global economic crisis” (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 291) because there were no criminal sanctions to control financial machinations (that caused the economic crisis). This shows that proper communication is imperative within the police agency in order to be able to control the occurrence of crimes.

Junior police officers have the role of conducting investigation among the society as well as collecting information from the community on some of the behaviors that they perceive to be illegal. As they might not have adequate knowledge on how to deal with these crimes, they are bound to communicate this information to their seniors who have experience in dealing with these crimes. These agents then issue directives on measures to be taken (Schlegle & Weisburd, 1992, pp. 214-244). The case of the space shuttle explosion gives clearly the role of police in ensuring that they have protected the crimes from happening. Once the police get the information on the possibility of the crime taking place, it is their role to critically investigate the consequence of the act before making any decisions. Similarly, once the police understand the actual effects of the act, it is their role to take necessary measures to regulate or control the occurrence of the crime. The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), having clear information on the effects of launching the shuttle in cold weather, had the mandate to reverse the act and call for a stalemate of the launching exercise. (Friedrichs, 2009, pp. 257-280)

It is the primary responsibility of the police force to arrest the people for violating the law as soon as the criminal act is committed. As it is difficult for the police agencies to immediately identify the perpetrator of the white color crime when it occurs, the police agents have the role of critically examining legal codes concerning business activities in order to identify the crimes and have evidence for prosecuting people liable for the crime. For the effective arrest and prosecution of the white color crimes, it is the duty of the police agents to ensure that they are not politically influenced when conducting their investigations (Brintnall, 2005, pp. 431-436).

The case of the Enron collapse clearly reflects the role of police in dealing with white color crimes that have already occurred. After police had critically analyzed the smoke and mirrors scam that led to the collapse of the company, they took the step of arresting and prosecuting persons behind the scam. (Croatto, 2005, para. 3) The boiler room movie also shows the role of police in controlling white color crimes. When the police understand the scam being conducted by Seth, they take the initiative of arresting him and stopping the crime (Leong, 2000, para. 2). This is a great example of how white collar crimes should be handled.


Brintnall, M. (2005). Police and white color crime. Policy studies journal, 7(1), 431-436.

Croatto, P. (2005). Enron: The smartest guys in the room. Web.

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Friedrichs, D. O. (2009).Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society (3rd edition). United States of America: Cengage Learning Inc.

Leong, A. (2000). Boiler room. Web.

Schlegle, K. & Weisburd, D. (1992). White-Collar Crime Reconsidered. London: Northeastern University Press.

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