The Guardian's editorial suggests that Labour should make a point of stressing that crime is down, with even the hard to fake murder rate down at a 20 year low.
There is a small problem with this approach though. The murder rate rose a fair bit between 1997 to 2000 and stayed at this new plateau and didn't fall sharply until the start of the recession, when it did indeed fall substantially. In other words in order to take the credit for the fall now then they have to take responsibility for the rise previously. Gordon Brown is not known for his enthusiasm to take responsibility.
Furthermore the drop in the murder rate seems to have begun with the recession, possibly because people are going out drinking less often and possibly because many immigrants (who are disproportionately young , male and from more violent countries) have left the country. and so claiming credit for it would be politically difficult- "We've made people too poor to go out" isn't an election winning theme.
The Railway Mania Bar at the Royal Station Hotel, York
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