Macau's never-ending crime wave has made even the most extreme solutions seem superficially attractive. Initial reaction has been largely positive to yesterday's surprise announcement that Beijing will station a garrison in the enclave after next year's handover. That is no surprise. Macau residents are weary of living in fear and welcome anything that might end the bombings. People know the enclave's government and police are too weak to end triad-related crime, and likely to be even weaker after the Portuguese depart. Still, these are the bodies charged with this task. Macau's Basic Law is explicit on this point. The stationing of a garrison does not, in itself, violate the mini-constitution, although it does run counter to repeated assurances from Beijing. In any case, as mainland officials have said in the past, the enclave is too small to need troops for defensive purposes. And to use them to restore public order would be in explicit violation of Article 14, which makes Macau's authorities solely responsible for this task. However tempting it might be in the present circumstances, to violate one part of the enclave's Basic Law would render the rest of it worthless. Worse still, it would raise questions about Beijing's continued commitment to honouring Hong Kong's almost identically worded Basic Law. Rather than sending troops, the solution to Macau's crime wave lies in training the enclave's police and security officers so that they are better-equipped to deal with the problem. China could certainly assist in this task and in sharing intelligence on cross-border triad networks. By doing so, Beijing would show its commitment to cracking down on crime while continuing to honour the Basic Law.