The countdown to elections in the UK has officially begun although the parties have been shadow boxing for many months. The issue of crime has thus far received relatively limited attention (thankfully) although the Conservatives have been trotting out a Broken Britain theme. In today’s Guardian newspaper the playwright, David Hare reflects on the rise in prison numbers in Britain under New Labour:
New Labour has many achievements to its credit, but none more impressive than its ability to break its own records for locking people up and throwing away the key. Just about two weeks ago, on the last available estimate, there were 86,637 people in jail in England and Wales.
Hare notes that under Blair and Brown’s premierships 3,600 new offences were introduced into law and England and Wales now top the European league on numbers in prison.