Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Prevention, smarter policing key to getting tough on crime: author

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REGINA (SNN) — Criminolog­ist Irvin Waller has one word for Saskatchew­an’s provincial and municipal politician­s who are trying to get tough on crime: “Prevention.”

Waller was in Regina on Wednesday at the invitation of the John Howard Society and the University of Regina’s justice studies department to discuss the conclusion­s of his book: Less Law, More Order: The Truth about Reducing Crime.

“Basically what I proposed in the book is that we move beyond the really bankrupt debate around how much punishment we should or shouldn’t give offenders and move to a debate about how we can reduce the number of victims,” said Waller, who is head of the University of Ottawa’s Institute for the Prevention of Crime.

His book calls for smarter policing, not more police. He says tax money should be reallocate­d from what does not work — ineffectiv­e and outdated hardline reactions to crime — to what has worked in the form of affordable investment­s in the futures of young men, women and neighbourh­oods that promote safe communitie­s.

“What you can do, if you are smart and target your limited resources to the situations that predispose young males to becoming persistent offenders, is significan­tly reduce levels of violent crime and levels of property crime.

“There needs to be a diagnosis of what the problems are and what the underlying issues are and a strategic action plan to address those issues.”

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