Our approach to crime leaves crooks in charge

Criminals have drawn the battle lines. Choosing not to fight back would be genocidal and utterly foolish.

Criminals have drawn the battle lines. Choosing not to fight back would be genocidal and utterly foolish.

Our approach to crime is sensible and normal, but only for normal and regular crime. The weakness and undoing of our approach to crime is that it is totally out of touch with reality. The cash-heist criminal is not likely to be deterred by the prospect of a long jail sentence.

This is partly proved by the increasing number of awaiting-trial suspects out on bail who are caught committing the very crimes they were awaiting trial for. Statistics show that some of the criminals traumatising South Africans are foreigners from countries where the death penalty applies to lesser crimes.

Recent brutal crimes suggest that South Africa's criminals are no different.

This brings us to the death penalty and its capacity as a deterrent to crime. Some South Africans' knee-jerk reaction to crime is: "Bring back the death penalty."

I despise this view and any one holding it. We are naive to think we will regain our streets, towns and homes from criminals while applying current strategies to crime prevention. We are under siege and when people are at war they forgo certain rights to strengthen their war effort. Some of our human rights help camouflage the enemy.

Conventional approaches will not reverse crime.

Dan Nkosi, Springs

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