Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ihekwoaba D. Onwudiwe
Policing is the process of regulating the general health, safety, welfare, and morals of society. Its primary role is to control crime. Democracy is rule by the people; in democracies such as the United States or Britain, police emphasize the protection of individual rights and liberties. The first known set of written laws that influenced policing was the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon in the eighteenth century BCE. The code provided for punishment, fines, and obligations for offenders. Prior to about 2100 BCE, “policing” is believed to be a function of individual tribes, which used warriors or elders to preserve peace and order. The Code of Hammurabi is considered to be an advance beyond rule by tribal customs as the code does not recognize blood feud between tribes, private retaliation, or marriage by capture. Rather, the code relies on the principle of lex talionis (the law of retaliation) Between ...