The Blair Government's Discovery of Street Crime

by Brian Risman, Publisher, www thelawjournal co uk - March 21, 2002

It seems that, once again, the Blair government has discovered street crime. Areas of the UK have been identified as hot spots, meetings of key cabinet members have been held at Downing Street, and every expert has had their 15-minute 'moment of fame' on the BBC.

So ? What will come of the problem -- another Report, more Legislation, more self-serving Government initiatives ?

I don't mean to suggest that the Blair Labour government is not sincere about dealing with the problem. A good sign is that the problem is being viewed as greater than simply a legal/ police issue. However, I have my doubts that the Oxbridge crew in power can comprehend the issues -- and the solutions -- needed for the victims, the criminals and society as a whole.

Sometimes the solution is simple. The former Mayor of New York City, Sir Rudy, dealt with New York's crime problem in a basic manner. Instead of focusing on the big criminals, he dealt with petty crime, cleaning up areas in the process. It worked -- with no base of petty criminals left, the big criminals had no one to do their dirty work. Simple -- no huge money expenditures, just bringing a city back to life.

Maybe Tony and his cabinet should take note.