Letter: Public morality in good health

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The Independent Online
Sir: You claim (30 November) that your poll with NOP backs a 'hard line on crime . . . and gives support for the tough stance of Michael Howard, the Home Secretary'. However, your reported results show equally overwhelming support for the view that a variety of social and economic factors, such as unemployment, poverty and poor housing, cause crime.

This has been consistently denied by the Government, which recognises only the holy trinity of tough panaceas: police, prisons and punishment. Right or wrong, the poll results are closer to Tony Blair's slogan 'Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime' than they are to Howard's way.

Yours sincerely,


Professor of Criminology

The London School of

Economics and Political Science

London, WC2