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Tough on crime? Britain’s new political battleground

Rishi Sunak wants a war on drugs, as he unveils new plans to crack down on antisocial behaviour, while Keir Starmer has his own mission to reduce crime.

Petty crime is emerging as a central battleground of the next election. The Prime Minister has announced headline-grabbing plans to ban laughing gas (nitrous oxide), which the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, has described as an “increasing scourge”. This swiftly followed a big speech on law and order from the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, which unveiled ambitions to reverse rising crime rates.

Anoosh Chakelian, Rachel Wearmouth and Zoë Grünewald discuss Rishi Sunak’s big idea of “immediate justice” and whether this would win immediate votes in the local elections – or is even possible at all.

They also analyse Labour’s ambitious “tough on crime” agenda, the damning findings of the Casey report into the Met’s toxic culture, and why tackling crime is easier than tackling austerity.

In You Ask Us, they chat about Jeremy Corbyn’s future in answer to a question from a listener: should the Labour Party be a broad church?

If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to newstatesman.com/youaskus

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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