Pubdate: Mon, 12 Nov 2001
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: L. Smith


Miranda Devine's column "Victims are screaming, but no-one hears" (Herald, 
November 8) makes some good points about crime, but is misguided about the 
solution. The problem is not that no-one hears, but rather that those in 
authority refuse to listen to commonsense and take refuge in laws and 
punishments that have only made crime worse.

As someone who was held up at gunpoint years ago and narrowly escaped being 
mugged by a drug addict with a knife on Sunday night, I feel I have some 
understanding of the fear people have about crime.

Spending more on police will help a little, but the problem is drugs. We 
can't stop people using them. We only have the power to decide whether that 
use is legal or not.

An acquaintance was recently released from prison and he told me he could 
get virtually any drug he wanted inside for only slightly more than it cost 
outside. What hope then do we have of stopping drugs in the community? None.

More people will continue to suffer horrible violence until we face 
reality: if drugs were legal, addicts would not need to do home invasions 
or rob people as they'd be so much cheaper.

I spoke recently to a police prosecutor who said 70 per cent of the cases 
he dealt with were drug-related and it was his opinion that all drugs 
should be legalised.

Drug addicts are like wild animals feeding on society - if we fed them 
rather than left them to fend for themselves, there'd be fewer people left 
hurt or scarred by crime.

L. Smith, Potts Point, November 9.
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