chapter  1
New Labour, crime control and social exclusion
ByJock Young, Roger Matthews
Pages 32

As has been well documented, the countries of the First World, from the late 1960s onwards, experienced a yearly increase in crime, which lasted for over 30 years. There were a few exceptions, and there were some countries in which the rise started comparatively later; but the impact on criminology and on the criminal justice system was widespread. That is to say that there was a prevalent feeling that ‘nothing worked’ – the phrase of Robert Martinson (1974) – which became a widespread belief, whatever Martinson’s actual position or intentions. At times the whole modernist project of crime control through tackling the causes of crime and rehabilitating the offender seemed forced back on its heels and all that could be proffered was the advice of more locks and bolts, greater care and caution, with the admonition to be circumspect about guarding your home and travelling around the city. Indeed David Garland, as recently as 1996 in his survey of the field, sketched out what he saw as ‘the limits of the sovereign state’ (Garland, 1996), where governments could no longer claim the ability to control crime rates and provide security for their citizens, where the public itself acquiesced, however fearfully, to high crime rates, and where crime itself became normalized.