The difference between a pious man and a criminal is that one is pure in heart and the other is dirty. This dirt is like a disease in the form of uncontrollable lust and greed in the heart of the criminal. When the people become purified of these dirty things, crime will disappear.
The simplest process of purification is to assemble in congregation and chant the holy names of God. This is called sankirtana and is the basis of our Krishna consciousness movement. So, if you want to stop crime, then you must gather as many people as possible for mass sankirtana.
This congregational chanting of the holy name of God will dissipate all the dirty things in everyone’s heart. Then there will be no more crime. But the education in the science of God is lacking. Without religious principles what is the difference between a dog and a man? If you bring a dozen dogs and put them together in a room, will it be possible to keep them peaceful? Similarly, if human society is filled with men whose mentality is on the level of dogs, how can you expect peace? The only way to permanently change the criminal habit is to change the heart of the criminal.
Many thieves are arrested numerous times and put into jail. Although they know that if they commit theft they will go to jail, still they are forced to steal, because of their unclean hearts. Therefore without cleansing the heart of the criminal, you cannot stop crime simply by more stringent law enforcement. The thief and the murderer already know the law, yet they still commit violent crimes, due to their unclean hearts. So our process is to cleanse the heart. Then all the troubles of this material world will be solved.
Ref: Chapter 6, Science of Self Realization authored by Srila Prabhupada (Founder – Acharya, ISKCON)