The major parties seem more anxious to show that they are tough on crime than to find solutions to the problem. This tends to focus the debate on the issue of penalties with too little attention given to better prevention and detection or to research into the causes of crime.
Neither deterrents nor rehabilitation will succeed unless criminals are actually caught and current detection rates are far too low. Investment in modern technology and more use of civilian staff would help to release police officers' time for detection. Liberals would also like to see a review of policing priorities and of the amount of paperwork.
Liberals believe that effective policing depends on the full support and cooperation of local communities.
We would like to see police authorities adopt a more devolved structure with local police stations being accountable to the communities they serve and having sufficient autonomy to enable them to respond to the needs of those communities and enlist their support.
Car manufacturers have been far too slow to incorporate crime prevention features, presumably because reminding buyers that cars may be stolen creates the wrong image. Cars should be required to have effective alarms, immobilisers and steering locks.
Urban estates can be better designed to make crime harder, for example, there need not be any unlit or enclosed alleyways.
Sentencing policy should give priority to reducing the rate of reoffending rather than just be concerned with punishment. There is clear evidence that harsh punishment leads to resentment and a desire to "get back" which makes reoffending more likely.
Swifter trials would make the use of progressively harsher sentences more effective and would minimise the time spent on bail or remanded in custody. There should also be a greater range of imaginative noncustodial schemes, especially those which require offenders to make reparation to their victims and bring them to understand the suffering they have caused.