Part 2: Police
Section 1: Cleanliness And Security
Police is the second general division of jurisprudence.
- The name is French.
- It is originally derived from the Greek πολιτεία, which properly signified the policy of civil government.
- But now it only means the regulation of the inferior parts of government:
- This deals with the proper method of carrying dirt from the streets.
- security and
- This deals with the execution of justice, so far as it regards regulations for preventing crimes or the method of keeping a city guarded.
- Cleanliness and security are useful but are too mean to be considered in this kind of general discourse.
- I will just give a few observations on it.
- cheapness or plenty.
The cities that have the most police and the most regulations on it, do not always have the greatest security.
In England and France during the time of the feudal government, and as late as Queen Elizabeth’s reign, many retainers were kept idle about the noblemen’s houses to keep the tenants in awe.
- In Paris, the regulations on police are so numerous.
- In London, there are only two or three simple regulations.
- Yet in Paris, scarce a night passes without somebody being killed.
- While in London, a larger city, there are scarce three or four in a year.
- On this account, one would think that the more police, the less the security.
- But this is not the cause.
The Paris nobility keep far more menial servants than ours.
- When these retainers were turned out, they had no other way of getting their subsistence but by committing robberies and living on plunder.
- This created the greatest disorder.
- These feudal manners are still preserved in France.
- It causes the difference.
In Glasgow, almost nobody has more than one servant.
- These are often turned out on their own account or through the caprice of their masters.
- Being in the most indigent circumstances, they are forced to commit the most dreadful crimes.
Therefore on this principle, it is not so much the police that prevents the commission of crimes as the having as few persons as possible to live on others.
- There are fewer capital crimes than in Edinburgh.
- In Glasgow there is not one in several years.
- But not a year passes in Edinburgh without some such disorders.
- Nothing tends so much to corrupt mankind as dependency, while independency still increases the honesty of the people.
The establishment of commerce and manufactures brings about this independency.
- It is the best police for preventing crimes.
- The common people have better wages in this way than in any other.
- In consequence of this, a general probity of manners takes place throughout the country.
- Nobody will beg on the highway if he can make better bread in an honest and industrious way.
- The nobility of Paris and London are much on a level.
- But the common people of Paris are much more dependent.
- They are not to be compared with common people of London.
- For the same reason, the commonalty in Scotland differ from those in England, even if the nobility are also on a level.