Crime in Britain rose after many years. It had fallen all over the country- and indeed over entire Western Europe- since 1994. Incidentally, this was the year when Tony Blair, the then shadow home secretary, asked the government to act tough on crime and also tough when it came to its causes. Those words were the mainstay of New Labour government. The content was created by Gordon Brown. Since they were catchy, he reaped electoral rewards. The New Labour government barreled through a number of criminal justice bills. About 53 of them saw the light of day. Other populist initiatives include police officers engaged in community support and the cobbling together of Asbos. CCTV cameras were also installed throughout the UK at this time.
Those days are now long gone. Jeremy Corbyn feels that the present state of affairs is an excellent field to get votes. He had earlier attacked Theresa May over her decision to make cuts to police numbers and youth services. The Prime Minister has brought in the skills which she had garnered from working as the home secretary. She worked with David Cameron and know first hand on how to implement austerity policies. Indeed, the Labour manifesto in 2017 even contained words like Labour will be tough on crime and also hard on its causes.
Labour, however, tells only 50 percent of the story. The party has now intentionally sidestepped anything which resembles a brand new criminal justice policy. The party strongly criticized the Conservative cuts to prison estate, but unable to express the truth that the only solution to hellish overcrowding could be shorter and fewer jail sentences. The manifesto was also silent on an important area where a change in policy may reduce unnecessary jail time. Money can be taken out of criminal gangs and transferred to Treasury. In a few words, the drug laws should be liberalized.
When it comes to policies, a huge schism exists between May and Corbyn. This gap is bigger than what their predecessors during the earlier years had. Labour has a single objection when it came to law and order- the government does not spend sufficient quantities of money on tackling crime or its causes, like police budget slashes and closed down youth centers. A reason that this subject has been kept hidden from view is that crime had decreased for a long time. Only now with a rising crime graph, the issue has been taken to electoral politics.