Definition of the long (or strong) arm of the law in US English:

the long (or strong) arm of the law

phrase

  • Used to refer to the criminal justice system as far-reaching.

    ‘act now before the long arm of the law catches up with you’
    • ‘And his mode of getaway - on a mobility scooter - ensured the pensioner was never likely to escape the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘No executive is so prominent as to avoid the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘‘People throwing items from buildings on to streets will also feel the long arm of the law,’ warned De Villiers.’
    • ‘Anyone in his position would have wanted to completely forget about his escape from the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘And if there is evidence, which merits prosecution and arrests, I believe that the long arm of the law should catch whoever has perpetuated such crimes.’
    • ‘He warned the public that soccer hooliganism would not be tolerated and all those involved would be visited by the long arm of the law wherever incidents of hooliganism occurred.’
    • ‘In the Eastern Bay, 26 cars were impounded and in Taupo, 67 drivers felt the long arm of the law close around their steering wheels.’
    • ‘This film follows the exploits of the Kelly Gang from 1878 to 1880 as they rob banks and dodge the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘Dillon chose to cast himself in the lead, playing a con man in limbo, set adrift when his criminal father figure skips the U.S. to escape the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘Marc is furious at his brush with the long arm of the law, but Peter is certain that he's got his man… until it's proved that all of Marc's alibis check out once again.’
    • ‘I didn't know that you were the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘Now the ‘untouchables’ of the underworld are about to feel the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘They will not generally be expected to act as the strong arm of the law but they can very usefully serve as its eyes and ears.’
    • ‘Though clearly visible, face up, from the outside, the fact it wasn't in the designated display spot had attracted the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘‘The defendant ran, but he could not hide from the long arm of the law,’ Brown said.’
    • ‘‘Without massive logistics, they cannot possibly maintain their shadowy network of cells and they cannot run from one hideout to another in a bid to outrun the long arm of the law,’ he noted.’
    • ‘This investigation, we believe, has served to re-establish that no one is above the law, that no scheme to defraud is too complex or too fancy to be beyond the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘Let there be no outcry when the long arm of the law extends itself to these sectors, as indeed we believe, it will soon do.’
    • ‘It was a bad year for fugitives and others trying to escape the long arm of the law.’
    • ‘But he takes a stab at understanding why some relationships did not threaten the social order, and thus escaped the long arm of the law, and others did not.’