Dubai, March 18, 2018: (L) Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister gestures during the GESF Education Forum in Dubai. Satish Kumar for the National/ Story by James Langton
Tony Blair (L), former British Prime Minister writes for the Evening Standard edited by George Osborne (R). Pictured at GESF Education Forum in Dubai.

Get your act together demands Blair as crime soars

Tony Blair return to his original political theme tune on Friday with blistering condemnation of soaring crime rates in British cities, claiming the situation was “out of control”.

The former prime minister called for significant change in crime fighting polices to “break the cycle” of anarchy on the streets.

In an essay published in the Evening Standard, Mr Blair strongly criticised his successor, Theresa May and regional officials, such as Labour's London mayor, Sadiq Khan for their approach to crime.

Not only is it not hard to see why the crime rate is rising as “poor educational opportunities” and “broken family circumstances and neighbourhoods” festered unchallenged. There was an proliferation of ever more criminal networks.

“If gangs operate with impunity, criminals believe they can get away with it and the police feel powerless even to keep a lid on crime. The signal received will encourage all types of criminality to proliferate," he said.

“People will become anxious and crime, barely an issue in the 2015 or 2017 elections, will once again dominate as it used to 25 years ago.”

Tony Blair’s legacy, and a crucial part of his 1997 campaign for Prime Minister, centred around his policies on crime, inspired by his campaign slogan: “tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”.

Over the course of his tenure, Mr. Blair introduced policies such as Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for what Mr. Blair called “problem families” at the “focal point of crime”, the use of stop-and-search policing, high numbers of police on the streets and harsh sentencing for gang-related violent offences.

Consequently, the crime rate under the Blair government fell by 44% from 1997 – 2007, Blair becoming the first Prime Minister in British history to preside over a fall in recorded crime since wartime.

Mr. Blair condemned Ms. May, Mr. Khan and others for rolling back the policies his government introduced at the turn of the century, particularly relating to what he called the “systematic weakening of the powers of the police”.  The former Prime Minister took aim at Theresa May’s decision to cut police budgets by 18%, and reduce police officer numbers by 19,000, in what critics called a “Christmas for Criminals” in the holiday season.

Furthermore, Blair’s criticised Theresa May for rolling back stop-and-search powers for police, saying this was a “serious mistake” as the measure was a “critical part of police armoury”.

In his essay, Mr. Blair cites the crime prevention strategy of the Glasgow project called the Violence Reduction Unit, which is mirrored in Chicago, which he argues stresses the idea of coordinated responses to tackle criminality.  He argues that by embracing strategies such as these, Britain could make a “sharp change of direction”, reducing the rate of violent crime once again.

“The Government and city mayors need to act together. The prime minister should convene a summit —properly prepared with senior police and community representatives — and thrash out a comprehensive plan that gives the police the powers they need to tackle gang-related activity — including the use of new civil injunctions, if necessary — and targets the resources presently available in the most effective way.”

Over the last few years, the level of violent crime in the UK has been increasing in various forms.  According to the Office of National Statistics, last year gun crime has increased by 11 per cent and offences involving knives and sharp objects rose 22 per cent.

“Neither main political party has taken crime very seriously these past years, and naturally here, as elsewhere, Brexit distracts. But that is really no excuse.”

“It is time to act.”


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Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

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Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
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Date Started: September 2018

Founders: Walid and Karim Dib

Based: Abu Dhabi

Employees: Nine

Amount raised: $1.2 million

Funders: Oman Technology Fund, AB Accelerator, 500 Startups, private backers


if you go
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Man of the match: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

How to get there

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Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
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Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The specs

Engine: 5.2-litre V10

Power: 640hp at 8,000rpm

Torque: 565Nm at 6,500rpm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto

Price: From Dh1 million

On sale: Q3 or Q4 2022

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Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race card

5pm: Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic (PA) Prestige; Dh110,000; 1,400m
5.30pm: Abu Dhabi Colts Classic (PA) Prestige; Dh110,000; 1,400m
6pm: Maiden (PA); Dh80,000; 1,600m
6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Championship (PA) Listed; Dh180,000; 1,600m
7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup (PA) Handicap; Dh70,000; 2,200m
7.30pm: Handicap (PA); Dh100,000; 2,400m


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Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
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Saturday  (UAE kick-off times)

Leganes v Getafe (12am)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Levante v Alaves (4pm)

Real Madrid v Sevilla (7pm)

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Eibar v Atletico Madrid (12am)

Mallorca v Valencia (3pm)

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Villarreal v Espanyol (7pm)

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UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

Admission: Free

Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)


Syria v Australia
2018 World Cup qualifying: Asia fourth round play-off first leg
Venue: Hang Jebat Stadium (Malacca, Malayisa)
Kick-off: Thursday, 4.30pm (UAE)
Watch: beIN Sports HD

* Second leg in Australia scheduled for October 10


Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi

Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania

Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia

Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola

Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau


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