In the wake of the Paris bombings, many governments are taking a more aggressive approach to law enforcement. On November 18th, French President François Hollande announced that emergency legislation will be passed to expand the government’s powers of surveillance and detainment. This move has been met with some opposition, but is there really any other way?
On the surface, this might seem like an obvious solution. However, giving more power to law enforcement can also lead to oppression and abuse of power.
The implementation of stricter laws to reduce crime in society has long been an objective of policymakers. Although there is no straightforward answer to whether the implementation of stricter laws will lead to a more peaceful world or more crime, certain research suggests that stiffer penalties for crimes are not necessary.
The primary goal in criminology is to predict what law changes may do, rather than just playing out the consequences- this means considering how people who break the law will respond to new legislation.