Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) consists of a group of islands situated off the western coast of Europe. The UK is a union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with English being the official language and the pound sterling (£) being the currency. In this entry, the analysis of policing in England and Wales is done together. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are described in separate sections within this entry—Scotland because the Scottish legal system differs in important respects; Northern Ireland because of its unique history of terrorist or freedom-fighting activities, depending on one's political viewpoint. The population of the UK is in excess of 60 million people, and the capital city is London, in the south (which, alongside New York in the United States and Tokyo in Japan, is considered to be one of the three main financial capitals of the world). More ...