Security is a basic human need and one of the three most important core concerns of the people in all countries of the world.
Maximum security is the first task of any government. Because citizens appreciate it and need it for their private wellbeing. It is a top political priority and a constitutive element of every flourishing state. Security is a particularly important goal because it provides the prerequisite for citizens’ freedom and personal development.
Under political aspects, security is neither left nor right, but instead a basic obligation and government service for its people. Two key aspects deserve special attention: Security needs to be maintained externally through credible defence capabilities and domestically by combating all kinds of crime.
Maximum security as well as actively dismantling criminal structures and extremist cells are the foundation of good policy.
Moreover, security means freedom from oppression by intolerant, aggressive and egomaniacal citizens.
Sound security policy also means “zero tolerance against intolerance”.
Whoever attacks the life, body or property of others violates the soul and dignity of this human being. He or she encroaches upon the core of personal self-realisation and freedom. More security therefore always encompasses more subjective freedom and practised humanity.
Consequently, security policy is not directed against freedom, tolerance and human dignity, but is an indispensable part of its implementation and protection.
Other ideas of freedom or protection – such as data protection in facial recognition and Internet surveillance – must not, in the necessary balancing of interests, prevent people’s security and thus their individual freedom from concrete violations. The potential risk here is significantly higher than in the case of just collecting data by the state. At the same time, data protection requires maximum safety of storage as well as the possibility of subsequent judicial review.
How can we achieve more effective and cost-efficient security in the future?
We need a creative security concept “zero tolerance for intolerance”. For example, breaking up drug dealing on the open streets and in well-known clubs.
This is how New York was freed from the scourge of crime starting in the mid-1990s. Homicides declined from 27.5 per 100,000 residents in 1992 to 3.4 in 2017. Violence was understood as a kind of pandemic, according to NYPD police officer William Bratton’s approach: starting with a broken window followed by destroyed homes, robbery and violence. Evil is contagious and therefore must be contained from the root and from the beginning with zero tolerance. Otherwise, squalid neighborhoods emerge as hotbeds of crime from which decent citizens increasingly withdraw. Therefore, even minor offenses (such as urinating, graffiti or consuming drugs) were punished immediately. The police presence on the streets was significantly increased. More citizens’ initiatives helped to keep potentially violent young people meaning- fully occupied. We must finally move away from the entirely false attitude of maximum tolerance regarding drug sales and defacement in order to effectively secure citizens’ freedom from evil. We need active and preventive crime containment instead of convenient traffic controls of law-abiding citizens.
We also need better cooperation between police, prose- cutors and judges, much greater effectiveness of these law enforcement agencies as well as the highest penalties by the judiciary.
So-called organised crime (OC) is gaining more and more power and assets through prostitution, drug trafficking and burglary. Its chief adversary in Berlin, senior prosecutor Sjors Kamstra, deserves support for demanding a clear concept for combating the mostly foreign clan structures. “The decisive task is to confiscate the criminal assets. Where does the money for the golden Rolex, the AMG-Mercedes or the villa come from? In the Asset Recovery Act, the burden of proof should be reversed.“
There are still too many loopholes in the important containment of juvenile delinquents. In her courageous book (“Das Ende der Geduld – Konsequent gegen jugendlicher Gewalttäter” – “The End of Patience – Consistent against Juvenile Violent Offenders”) the committed Berlin youth judge Kirsten Heisig rightly pointed out that punishment should follow three to five weeks after the crime, so that the juvenile is able to still recognise the connection. In addition, conversations between perpetrators and victims, and charitable work would be useful. My experience as a trainee judge for the juvenile court judge Hugo at Goslar local court, teaches me that the state must demonstrate authority towards aggressive young people at an early stage. By the way, this is also in the interest of the perpetrators, because this is the only way to prevent subsequent serious crimes and break the vicious circle of violence. Why not additionally withdraw driving licenses and mobile phones? That works. I agree with judge Thorsten Schleif of the Dinslaken District Court in Germany who writes in his book: “The judge pronounces the sentence. Fear of error and convenience lead to suspended sentences, often four or five times. The proceedings take too long.”
The two core problems: This room for manoeuvre is not used by mostly timid judges. Consequently, new criminal acts offences are not deterred. Moreover, the judiciary is overburdened with too many cases over the years due to years of insufficient funding. The rule of law is thus partially dysfunctional. But we cannot allow ourselves a legal vacuum, otherwise our democracy would collapse.
For maximum security and justice to be the foundation of any democracy, we need a creative and more active overall strategy consisting of soft and hard factors.
Committed youth work and dialogue involving families, prevention and containment. Oriented towards effective role models from all over the world. These include: Doubling the number of youth workers, public prosecutors and judges. Better pay, promotion based on effectiveness and above all a justice system with deterrent effects. Adequate, effective and well-trained police units are essential for the rule of law. No further cuts should be made here. More well-equipped police officers and a focus on preventing serious crime produce more security and thus protect the civil liberties of all citizens, foreigners and minorities living in our country.
The police needs to be organised more creatively and effectively. Radical reforms are of crucial importance
Time-consuming bureaucracy must be reduced through apps, this saves a lot of time and money. Police work must no longer focus on simple administrative offences and traffic controls absorbing far too much attention and time. The police should not, as it is unfortunately too often the case in the U.S., be too brutal. They law enforcement officers must be well-trained in line with human rights, without excessive aggressiveness. The police should be friendlier and more obliging, and they should improve communication with citizens. We need more contact officers, like the good old patrolman on the street, to communicate with potential groups of offenders. We need a suitable police strategy of toughness coupled with dialogue and opennesses. A police force, free of corruption, without black sheep serves law enforcement’s reputation creating trust and respect. An online complaints office at the police chief’s office should immediately follow up on citizens’ hints about possible irregularities, publish an annual report and thus secure the good reputation of the police through openness and dialogue. Everyone makes mistakes under stress. An apology is often sufficient.
The world has become more open. Extremely mobile and internationally active criminal gangs are taking advantage of this situation. Therefore, the task of protecting citizens needs new skills, especially modern equipment, stricter prison sentences and criminal laws. This should apply, for example, to child abuse, human or drug trafficking. In this case, wishful thinking is no option. We must make much more effective use of more and better trained police forces to combat organised crime, such as the mafia and clans, money laundering, drug and human traffickers, child abuse and the shameless and cheating of elderly citizens. To accomplish this extensive task, we need a five-year plan for each group linked with targets and action plans, and no more soapbox speeches. The objective: Reducing crime by five percent annually. Extremists of all kinds as well as criminal clans should not only to be observed, but their structures need to be weakened and ultimately destroyed. We can’t wait until they attack.
In the field of drug-related crime, we should, as in the case of Portugal, use regulatory rather than criminal law to curb consumers. At the same time, we must radically combat the organised crime of international drug traffickers and triple our efforts. Otherwise, we face the prospect of deadly drug trafficking and abuse by powerful gangs like those in the U.S. and some Asian countries.
In the case of child abuse, we need to significantly strengthen detention and punishment rules and make full use of suspended sentences, increase staffing levels, intensify data exchange and make effective use of intelligence services. We have a moral obligation to the weakest in our society.
In addition, all new technical possibilities for preventing, investigating and prosecuting crimes must be fully exhausted. Without ideological taboos. This includes facial recognition, Internet surveillance and the use of artificial intelligence.
We must use artificial intelligence (AI/AI), one of them is PredPol Inc. Their predictive policing software is used by 50 major police departments, including the LAPD and Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard). The AI algorithm calculates the focus of the crime as well its location and time and sends the police there as a preventive measure. This could reduce the crime by ten percent resulting in expanded protection of individual freedom and potential victims.
How can we resolve the dilemma between the need to fight crime and the confidentiality of our personal data?
The best way is to look for role models all over the world, adopt them and adapt the rules to the facts and necessities every two years.
The British camera control model is convincing in practice: In London, 630,000 cameras (CCTV) monitor the entire city. A “Code of Conduct” with twelve points regulates their use. Storage and exploitation of images are strictly limited, and access is secured. A “Surveillance Camera Commis- sioner” monitors the use of the many thousands of CCTV systems throughout the country and the automatic recognition of car number plates. The Commissioner deals with citizens’ complaints, checks the systems for possible improvement and compliance with legal requirements.
Without employing artificial intelligence, surveillance technology and new technical means we will lose the fight against crime.
We need a clever dual strategy to achieve this. Firstly, permanent adaptation to the dangers and use of all new technical possibilities. Secondly, the necessary protection of personal data. Both are feasible.
- The issue of greater protection against crime is too ideologically charged; furthermore, it is constrained by prejudices and misguided thinking. This contrasts with the state’s mandate. Security must be given priority because it also preserves human dignity and freedom. As a necessary compensation, clear rules of conduct should be established, such as a functioning complaints office seeking to avoid legal disputes as well as an arbitration board like the one in London. The idea of partnership between police and citizens must be revived. This would also improve the police’s image and increase the feeling of security.
- Without employing new technologies, maximum safety cannot be achieved. It would be irresponsible not to use modern technology to protect citizens.
- The focus on traffic controls and administrative of- fences is misdirected and a waste of energy. Instead, the focus must be on preventing and investigating crimes against children, women, elderly citizens, drug trafficking or capital crimes.
- Punish and decriminalise the use of narcotics – as in Portugal – with the regulatory order law. Combat international drug traffickers with all legal instruments, triple the law enforcement personnel including the secret services.
- To prevent child abuse and human trafficking we should employ the possibilities of secret services more effectively and double their personnel. Any indirect charging of crimes by the major credit card companies through offshore front companies should be criminalized as aiding and abetting and prevented with heavy fines.