What is the influence of Criminology on Policing & Criminal Law?

influence of criminology on policing

“He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it,” said Seneca. When he uttered these famous words, the ancient Roman philosopher unwittingly described criminology, the modern study of crime. The influence of criminology on the legal system has been very important for more than last two hundred years. For that reason criminology and policing are two important protections for the modern world.

This article will cover the history of Criminology, and its influence on policing and criminal law.


What is Criminology?

Criminology is the study of crime from a scientific approach aimed at discovering the causes of it and methods to prevent it. It involves research from several different fields, such as psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology, justice and philosophy. Criminologists examine illegal activity both on an individual level as well as a societal level. They study a broad range of topics related to it, from the rate of lawlessness and its consequences for average citizens and the nation, to the reactions to felonies.


A Brief History of Criminology

While the word “criminology” was only coined 135 years ago, it has existed in some basic ways since the dawn of time. As mankind grappled with the cruel reality of evil, it had to develop a way to understand lawlessness in order to prevent it. Early civilization was threatened by unregulated feuds that occurred when one person retaliated against another for a perceived offense. Man soon learned that for justice to be maintained in a culture, an established list of crimes must be recognized and appropriate punishments must be determined.

One of the earliest examples of criminology being practiced was the ancient Code of Hammurabi. This was a set of 282 laws developed in 1754 B.C. by the Babylonian king of the same name to establish fair punishments for the crimes listed, with the death penalty reserved for the worst ac