Crime has fallen sharply in recent years, by 35 per cent since 1997 with approximately 6 million fewer offences now committed each year compared to a decade ago. Fear of crime has fallen, anti-social behaviour decreased and the risk of being a victim of crime is significantly lower than at its peal in 1995.
There are record numbers of police backed by thousands of community support officers, a whole range of new measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, tougher sentences and more serious offenders in jail while the criminal justice is being re-balanced in favour of the victims and the community as a whole.
But crime remains high and fear of crime still blights the lives of many people and many communities. Drug-fuelled crime and violence remain particular worries not just in Britain but across all developed societies. Meanwhile, the events of 9/11 and 7/7 have changed the security lanscale forever and with technology and the patterns of trade fuelling an unprecendented movement of people, the UK faces real challenges in the fields of immigration and cohesion.
This was the context to the deliberations of the Working Group on Security, Crime and Justice, established as part of the Policy Review. It set out to review progress, and chart the key challenges and future options for the Government's policy approaches to the linked issues of crime, security, immigration and cohesion.
The paper Building on Progress, Security, Crime and Justice [PDF 3,069KB, 105 pages] draws this work together, taking a fundamental, wide-ranging look at what can be achieved over the next 10 years. Drawing on speciallyy commissioned papers and numerous ministerial seminars, it sets out some of the key future priorities in relation to security crime and justice. It argues for a series of measures which will:
As part of the Policy review process, a presentation by the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, outlining the challenges facing the criminal justice system was published in January 2007.