Opinion | Time to toughen up on persistent offenders

Opinion | Time to toughen up on persistent offenders

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Picking up from last week’s deep dive into the escalating crime in our suburbs, I’ve taken to the streets again to understand the root of this menace.

The message from our community is loud and clear: enough is enough.

We are tired of being the victims of crime, especially at the hands of repeat offenders who seem to act with impunity.

As someone who has served both as a police officer and now as a voice within the community, I believe it’s time we adopt a tougher stance on crime, ensuring harsher penalties for those who refuse to respect the law and the peace of our neighbourhoods.

In conversations with former colleagues in law enforcement, it’s evident that the frustration is mutual.

Our police force is stretched to its limits, battling not only the criminals but also the red tape and resource shortages that hamper their efforts.

Despite their dedication, the cycle of arrest and release continues, undermining their hard work and our safety.

However, taking a tougher stance doesn’t mean we abandon the principles of fairness and the opportunity for redemption.

It’s crucial that our justice system distinguishes between those who have erred and are willing to change, and those who persistently choose the path of crime and vice, no matter who you are or what age you are.

We all make mistakes, and many learn from them, but our community cannot be a haven for those dedicated to a life of wrongdoing.

The call for change is not just about harsher punishments; it’s about creating a system that supports our police, holds repeat offenders accountable, and offers a fair chance to those genuinely seeking to turn their lives around.

It’s about ensuring that our laws and penalties are strong enough to deter crime, it’s not enough to give more maximum penalties when the lower penalties are not adequate, yet just and balanced enough to offer redemption where it’s due.

We stand at a crossroads where our collective will can reshape our community’s future.

By working together, supporting our law enforcement, and advocating for a judicial system that reflects our community’s values, we can restore peace and safety to our streets.

It’s time for decisive action that makes it clear: our community is no place for those who choose a life of crime.

Let’s unite in this cause, for the sake of our neighbourhoods and the generations to come.

Glenn Dewhurst is a City of Gosnells councillor and local leader.