The criminal justice system is the instrument Governments use to control crime, believing it is more efficient than other types of public expenditure. The relative importance of law enforcement, economic and socio-economic variables in determining South African crime is assessed. An inter disciplinary theory is developed, using the economic model and variables from sociology and political science. Statistical analyses of data show that all categories of variables significantly influence crime. Expenditure exclusively on the criminal justice system to prevent crime is thus not most effective, other types of public expenditure must also be used. Specifically to improve education, which is surprisingly significant, well-being in female headed households and reduce poverty. Analysis of law enforcementshows increases in policing personnel alone do not increase output. Expenditure must enhance competency. A decade after this study, for the first time South African crime shows a significant downward trend, police use more crime intelligence and now use tactical response teams. Education is the most important outcome of the Government and crime prevention is among the priority outcomes.