Minister: Fight crime like The Untouchables

2012-02-24 19:32

Cape Town - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies wants local authorities to copy the methods 1930s crimefighters used against Chicago gangster Al Capone in their battle against smugglers and organised crime.

Davies told Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee on Friday that his department and other agencies would fight organised criminals more "intelligently" by prosecuting them on lesser charges, as was done with Capone, who was eventually arrested for tax evasion.

"We don't have to catch them on the most serious offence," Davies said.

"We can learn from the lessons of Al Capone. Al Capone did a lot of very naughty things. He murdered lots of people, but he ended up going to jail for tax evasion."

Davies said illegally imported and exported sub-standard goods, pirated DVDs, drugs, abalone and mining products were flowing through South Africa's borders.

The department, he said, faced an uphill battle, but was working with various government agencies to "step up its work".

"We are trying to work much more intelligently so we can recognise these multiple offenders. Catch them on anything and stop them operating," he said.

Davies said trade between South Africa and its neighbours could be made far more efficient by investing in infrastructure and reducing red tape.

At Beit Bridge border post, for instance, traffic often moved only one way.

"We need it to go two ways [at the same time]," Davies said.

"We also need to harmonise computer systems at border posts and things like that."

South Africa had to reduce the pressure at border posts, but doing so required overcoming a number of bureaucratic obstacles.

In some cases this had to do with the harmonisation of road traffic permits, or the recognition of drivers' permits, he said.

  • Jeeves - 2012-02-24 19:50

    Excellent suggestion. I was a bit nervous when i saw the title but yeah, with technology we can automate so many systems that are currently managed by corruptible entities! Create a system that sniffs out irregularities and flags persons of interest! Heck man, I can't wait for the future where we all give our DNA to the Gov on a nice database. Scan crime scene, picks up DNA for xyz offenses and Bob's your auntie! Crime x plus crime y plus crime z all add up to a tidy sum...

      John - 2012-02-24 21:55

      Brilliant, Only problem of technology is the "bug" between the chair and the keyboard. IT Technology is in place, but how is maintained is another story. We don't have enough radios for the police and you speaking for automation and centralised databases. You have no idea of IT in government sector....chaos.

      Pdevillet - 2012-02-24 23:14

      all you will find on government computers is porn sites

      John - 2012-02-24 23:59

      and....."What is this screen saver doing on my computer? Take away that propaganda from here!"

  • Joanne - 2012-02-24 20:23

    I must say that I think this holds a lot of promise... crime is crime after all. I do agree that there are plenty of areas to focus on, quick wins would give the public a smidgen of confidence and hope. Good on you Mr Davis, first person to speak sense in a while!

  • Em - 2012-02-24 20:24

    Ah, is he talking about the Elliot Ness gang? They were not successful. It was an accountant who brought Al Capone down. So, ja, the death penalty suits me fine. Or community justice. Does he not notice the trend? The sadistic genocide against white woman? The brutal rapes? Please, spare me the diatribe and bring true justice non racist death sentence back!!!!! Enough I say, if this government does not want whites in SA then negotiate with Europe for right of return. Show the world what they are really about. STOP all aid to Africa and send back the refugees to their respective countries.

      Pieter Janse van Rensburg - 2012-02-24 20:50

      EM. Love your idea. The problem is many whites like me are patriots to this country

  • Ken - 2012-02-24 20:28

    Great idea. Catch the drug smugglers and robbers out for " minor " offences and then give them the maximum sentence.

  • Pieter Janse van Rensburg - 2012-02-24 20:31

    Think about it. Human Rights in the mid 30's were almost none existend. The Untouchables consisted of specially selected police against a few organised gangs. Severe interrogation was a big part of getting certain information. Here the whole System is corrupt. Then again, I did'nt vote for Human Rights. Who do we trust? The last few Police Heads is a good example of.... ? The Law is written for the rich not the innocent.

  • Ken - 2012-02-24 20:43

    Hi Rob. Any ideas as to how we should fight the criminal element in Govt and the police ?

  • Grimett - 2012-02-24 20:56

    its not like these guys don't get caught, they do, but your law enforcers and border patrols are supplementing their income with bribes everyday.

  • Irene - 2012-02-24 22:22

    I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand , UK, America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach love and tolerance.. I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off? I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

  • Irene - 2012-02-24 22:22

    I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems. I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20's be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government. Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I'm on the way out and not on the way in.

      Terry-Lee Heuer - 2012-02-24 22:37

      Dear Irene here's a really big hug for you from me I understand what you are saying and its really sad its a sick world we live in I wish I could wave a magic wand and take all the pain, hurt and suffering away all I have right now is faith and hope take care my fellow South African

      John - 2012-02-24 23:27 I can get you more links on "I'm tired" For being realy 'tired'...use your own words. We are also 'tired' of trolls.

      Frikkie - 2012-02-25 07:37

      Lol, Maam Irene. There are probably about 6 people in the whole of South Africa who are on welfare because of face studs or Tattoos.

      gerry.woodrow - 2012-02-25 18:11

      Could I surmise that you are tired of all followers of the " political correctness principles "? Really good to read what you have to say and I for one am in total agreement. Well said!

  • keesbus - 2012-02-24 22:32

    Jirre maar die minister is slim, seker baie grade !!!

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-25 02:53

    Wow. Genius. Real out-the-box thinking this. Being more intelligent is very very clever. Prosecuting criminals on lesser charges would of course remove the burden of proof, keeping evidence available for judicial process, and bypass the problem of untrained and corrupt police. Or would it? Improving government I T is also very very clever. Imagine traffic flowing both ways (AT THE SAME TIME). I'm going to relax. This job is obviously in very capable hands.

  • Frikkie - 2012-02-25 07:32

    Ha ha, gues who just watched "The untouchables"

      John - 2012-02-28 10:00

      Wait to see when he finds on his shelf "Commando"

  • Den - 2012-02-28 16:54

    now your asking the prawns to think

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