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VOICE OF THE DAILY Mirror: Now act on crimewave.

TONY Blair has started the debate on law and order that should have been initiated nine years ago.

A root-and-branch review of the criminal justice system is needed to protect citizens in the 21st century.

With law and order continuing to be people's No 1 concern and prisons bursting at the seams, it's clear there is something fundamentally wrong with our whole view of crime and punishment.

The Prime Minister is correct to identify the breakdown of families and communities that bound us together as part of the problem.

But his speech yesterday hinted that no amount of government initiatives - real or imagined - can paper over the huge fault-lines running through the system.

It was a more philosophical Prime Minister rather than the knee-jerk PM who recently picked a fight with himself over a Human Rights Act that has public safety at its very heart.

Protecting people and our cherished freedoms should be any government's primary concern.

But blaming the judiciary and issuing ill-thought-out edicts whenever crisis looms is not the way forward. This government has introduced some 40 pieces of law-and-order legislation so far, yet disorder persists.

The Prime Minister is finally asking the important questions.

Now he needs to come up with the right answers - and fast.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 24, 2006
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