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How can we cut crime? Readers views

Hundreds of readers have responded to the recent high profile murders by sending us their views of what should be done to tackle crime.

Most have called for a "tougher" approach and called current solutions a "bandaid" or ineffective.

Most suggestions focus on the police and justice system, ranging from calls for longer sentences to increased police powers and changes to the information juries are given at trials.

However, others have talked about getting to the root of the problem before young people become criminals.

The comments below give an overview of the debate among readers:

Nomisuaeb, North Shore:
We should be tougher on criminals. For serious crimes where victims have been injured or killed, there should not be parole at all. Prison sentences must be a deterrent and strike fear in the hearts of criminals. Take a leaf from Singapore which has a reputation of being very safe. Safer even than New Zealand. Rapists are caned in addition to jail sentences. Similarly for people caught tagging or destroying public properties.

Nathan, St Lukes:
Yes I agree our police should get tougher. But it is not their fault. The politicians should give up their PC and grant the police more power. 15-20 years back you could leave your house open and when you got back things would be as it was when you left. Not anymore. Crime is on the increase. The increase is proportionate to the increasing gap between the have and the have nots. Everything we do only leads to a bandaid solution. Never attacks the root cause. Dealing with root causes cost money and takes time. But the results are permanent.

Hamish Martin, Bucklands Beach
Everyone that has posted before this is spot on in one way or another about what needs to be done to clean up society. One way is investment and development of efficient youth management systems - helping deal with deprived/troubled children and teenagers as they approach the crucial, often defining years of their lives. This includes management of smaller youth gangs before they become fully fledged gang members.

FurryChild, Auckland:
I was a victim of a handbag snatch and assault in Botany Downs about 4 years ago and the little buggers of my crime where caught and released on bail 4 times before the justice system clicked on that they weren't going to stop. There was no support for me through my ordeal but the little buggers got all the support and counselling they needed to stop them doing it again. Our justice system and top government officials need to wake up and smell the roses. I give the police full support to carry guns and weapons - the bleeding hearts and crims families out there would have nothing to worry about if they abided by the law!

warrior legend, Howick:
This is the third death in a week or so. Now there will be more criminal activity because each gang will want to show off what they can do at the loss of civilian lives. Are they scared of the law? No! Because they know if they are caught, they will be sent to "The Hilton hotel"! Prison is a place of punishment. If you look at the prisons overseas, prisoners get tortured and some even beaten to death! This should be the same standard here before more innocent people get killed!

Liberty, Hamilton:
I was recently on a jury listening to all the excuses man made for a criminal aged 26 who had (we later found out) 25 previous convictions for various misdemeanours! If this person had been sentenced properly (and not paroled by the PC brigade) and served all of his jail sentences then he could not have committed 23 of his convictions, he would still be serving time for his 1st or 2nd offence. Multiply this out by the number of other criminals with numerous previous convictions still on the street and we can reduce incidence of repeat crime overnight.

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