Is Crime enforcement not an oxymoron?

Sheikh_14

Senior Member
English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
Dear Foreros',

There are several terms which are floated with regards to crime fighting and law enforcement, policing agencies. However, one term that I have trouble taking in, is that of crime and criminal enforcement which appears to be an oxymoron in that the crime rather than the law is being enforced. Is it attempting to suggest rather that the criminality of something is enforced?

Best,
Sheikh
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    You're right that it does seem to suggest completely the wrong idea. However, it seems to be used by government agencies and in books across the UK, the USA, and Canada, so it's here to stay.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Law enforcement' makes sense: using force to apply and maintain the law.
    'Crime enforcement' would make sense if it meant that some person or group was forcing another to engage in crime.
    A US Federal agency has been given that name quite ironically.
    It is not ironic and it is not the name of the agency. That is the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency.
    The link shows that 'criminal enforcement' is the term used by the agency, in all seriousness, to mean 'law enforcement', as the text makes clear.

    It is simply a misuse of terms.
     
    Last edited:

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    yes, however sadly it is a term that you see being floated about as another contributor mentioned earlier as well. I am glad we all agree in that it makes no sense whatsoever, but the fact remains that law enforcement in all aforementioned States are using it at some point. Perhaps they mean enforcement of criminality but then why Crime or criminal?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Perhaps they mean enforcement of criminality
    What they mean is enforcement of the law against crime or criminality.

    They think (incorrectly) that 'crime enforcement' means 'use of force against crime'. If that were valid, then 'law enforcement' would be the use of force against law.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Enforcement of criminality would mean enforcing that a crime was to be perceived as such. Whereas enforcing crime is just behaving as you were a criminal enterprise lol.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    There's another one which would alarm a few in the DEA which is the Drug Enforcement Agency lol despite its purpose being to police drug-related offences. A lot of legal and criminology jargon makes no literal sense.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In England about 100 years ago, "The Poor Law" was abolished and replaced. The law itself was not "Poor" - "Poor" is a noun used adjectivally.

    I have just eaten a product whose packaging announces that it was an "individual pork pie." It was not "individual" at all - the pork pie was exactly the same as all the other pork pies in the pack.

    In fact, "individual" has the dative meaning of "for the individual [person]" or "for individuals"

    Likewise, criminal enforcement - is enforcement for criminals/the criminal, i.e. those who are criminal.
    Drug Enforcement relates to the use of two nouns in which <noun1><noun2> = the <noun2> associated with <noun1> or the <noun2> for (dative) <noun1s>
    Language department -> the department for languages.

    Criminal enforcement -> the enforcement for (directed at) criminals.
    Crime enforcement -> the enforcement associated with crime(s).
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Thank you for that, as you can see I have mentioned this earlier but the detail in which you went was more than adaquete. Nonetheless it is a strange use of language and shorthanding.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The EPA ensures that laws regarding the environment are followed. Some of those laws are civil regulations, with only civil penalties if they are violated, but others have criminal penalties if violated. The Criminal Enforcement division is the part of the Agency that enforces regulations describing crimes.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    & thereby enforcing the criminality of an act rather than a crime itself.
     
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