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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Set-Up, The Sting, The Rub

I was watching a news story on Headline News earlier, where the police had put together yet another "sting" operation in which they left the keys in an unlocked car with a camera. They traced the thieves and busted them, etc., but it got me to thinking about just how ineffective this method of crime-"fighting" really is.

Obviously the idea is to provide a deterrent to the criminals but does it really work? I mean, anyone brazen enough to become a car thief is most likely something of a professional criminal and jail is just part of their job -- they're prepared for the possibility, at the very least. The same goes for chronic drug-users and addicts; a short stint in jail is not going to dissuade them from using drugs once they get out -- in fact, in all cases, going to jail may very well provide these criminals with new contacts and opportunities!

I am not offering any real viable alternatives here, but I loathe the fact that current law enforcement approaches are so singularly focused on these set-ups, as opposed to crime solving and prevention.

As in the case of modern medical-thinking, you make money treating the problem, not curing it.

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