In this week's New Statesman: Tory special

10 people Cameron should fear | John Pilger: Israel’s true heroes | Boris Johnson interview.

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This week's New Statesman is a special issue on the Tories: who are they and what they do want? David Marquand kicks off our coverage by arguing that the left dismisses David Cameron at its peril. Meanwhile, from the right, Simon Heffer argues that Cameron is no kind of conservative. He writes: "Cameron . . . has very few principles, other than his belief in himself as prime minister."

Elsewhere, Jonathan Derbyshire profiles Iain Duncan Smith, George Walden explores the rise of the new feudalism, and we name the ten people Cameron should fear. One of them, Boris Johnson, has been speaking to our deputy editor, Jon Bernstein. The Mayor of London explains why bankers are to blame for the recession and reveals what he really thinks of Cameron. Also, don't miss our exclusive survey of 101 Conservative candidates. Are they really any different from the old guard?

In the columns, James Macintyre explains why the Tories are losing support, John Pilger names Israel's true heroes, and Roy Hattersley says we should focus on Gordon Brown's ideas, not his tantrums.

In The Critics, Cameron's old Oxford tutor Vernon Bogdanor reviews a new study of the Tory party, we launch our search for the next great music critic, and Lisa Mullen reviews Michael Moore's latest film, Capitalism: a Love Story.

The issue is on sale now, or you can subscribe through the website.

Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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As crime moves online, the police need the investment in technology to follow

Technology offers solutions, not just threats.

It’s perhaps inevitable that as the world becomes more digital, so does crime. This week Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, recognised that online crime is as serious as face-to-face crime. “Hate is hate,” Saunders wrote referring to internet abuse, and the police should protect people from it wherever they are. This will add demand to under-pressure police forces. And it is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Forty-seven per cent of crime involves an online element. Police recorded 30,000 instances of online stalking and harassment last year. People are 20 times more likely to be a victim of fraud than robbery, costing businesses an estimated £144bn a year. On a conservative estimate, 2,500 UK citizens use the anonymous dark web browser, Tor, for illegal purposes such as drug dealing, revenge porn and child sexual exploitation.

The police need new technology to meet demand, a Reform report published today finds. Some progress has been made in recent years. West Midlands Police uses an online portal for people to report incidents. Durham uses evidence-gathering software to collect social media information on suspects, and then instantly compile a report that can be shared with courts. Police have benefited from smartphones to share information, and body-worn cameras, which have reduced complaints against police by 93 per cent.

Yet, Theresa May’s 2016 remarks that police use “technology that lags woefully behind what they use as consumers” still stand. Officers interviewed for Reform’s research implored: “Give us the tools to do our job”.

Online evidence portals should be upgraded to accept CCTV footage. Apps should be developed to allow officers to learn about new digital threats, following the US army’s library of knowledge-sharing apps. Augmented-reality glasses are being used in the Netherlands to help officers identify evidence at digital crime scenes. Officers would save a trip back to the station if they could collect fingerprints on smartphones and statements on body-worn cameras.

New technology requires investment, but forces are reducing the resources put into IT as reserves have dried up. Durham plans to cut spend by 60 per cent between 2015-16 and 2019-20. The government should help fund equipment which can meet demand and return future productivity savings. If the Home Office invested the same as the Department of Health, another department pushing “transformative” technology, it would invest an extra £450m a year. This funding should come from administrative savings delivered through accelerating the Government’s automation agenda, which the think tank Reform has previously calculated would save Whitehall £2.6bn a year.

As crime moves online, police must follow. Saunders is right to point to the importance of meeting it. But technology offers solutions, not just threats. Installing the next generation of equipment will give police the tools to do their jobs, addressing online hate and more. 

Alexander Hitchcock is a senior researcher at reform