We can learn lessons about the dangers of precipitate policy-making from political reaction to the murder of toddler James Bulger

Tomorrow it will have been 20 years since the murder of toddler James Bulger. Rob Allen reflects on the tragic case and its implications for criminal justice in the UK. He argues that the rapidity with which policy was made in the face of a national outcry holds important lessons for  contemporary policy makers, particularly in relation to the Government’s controversial plans to effectively dismantle […]

A commitment to remove under 18’s from prison and a plan to develop more appropriate community based arrangements would be a truly radical step for criminal justice in the UK

Rob Allen argues that Chris Grayling has an important opportunity to radically reform how juvenile offenders are treated. Efforts to educate young people and influence them to stay out of trouble in the future are likely to be ineffective in institutional environments which fail to meet their basic needs. One of the surprise announcements in Chris Grayling’s criminal justice speech was […]

Police force mergers are unnecessary and miss the point; the best policing is local

Much of the focus during the PCC elections has been on the principle of representation. Will Tanner argues that localism is equally important and that the future of policing in England and Wales must be local and democratic, not regional and bureaucratic. At the mid-point of this Parliament, the apparatus of policing in England and Wales is undergoing far-reaching and long-overdue reform, […]

Despite the problems that have beset the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners we must still take them seriously

The criticism of the Police and Crime Commissioner reforms has been lengthy and varied. This week’s elections finally end the tripartite governance structure and replace it with an untested and far from popular new system focused on a single locally elected individual. Despite all the problems and the shortcomings, Tim Newburn argues that the issues involved are too important for […]

If the government wants to introduce a real revolution in law and order, it should devolve powers and budgets for all criminal justice and emergency services to PCCs

Will Tanner argues that if the Prime Minister is serious about his ‘tough but intelligent’ approach to crime and justice then resources should be directed to what is proven to work. The astonishing success of the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) in Glasgow is just such a project. Only through such localism could initiatives like the VRU become the norm.  Last week, in […]

Without a pause in UK justice reforms there is a risk that enormous damage will be done to the day-to-day functioning of criminal justice in England and Wales

Last week Tim Newburn argued that Cameron’s crime speech was a delicate balancing act between different constituencies within the Tory party. In this post Rob Allen takes further issues with the government’s rhetoric, suggesting that writing what is seemingly an  open cheque for prison expansion is something Cameron may come to regret. British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new “tough but […]

We must acknowledge the limits of policing and punishment in the absence of social justice

Robert Reiner argues that it is time we re-evaluated our ‘common sense’ conceptions of the role of the police, and started to take seriously the notion that socio-economically rooted pressures generating criminality have been suppressed, but not tackled, by the decades of getting tough on crime but not its causes. A quick Google search reveals that ‘common sense policing’ has become a busy buzz-word. […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.