Exclusion is the first step on a dangerous road

Two decades ago, New Labour set about getting ‘tough on the causes of crime’. Now, after years of rising school exclusions, Kiran Gill says the political will to tackle one of the root causes of street violence is finally re-emerging

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When I was growing up, the part of London that I called home was dubbed “murder mile”. It was the few thousand feet in the country where the most murders reportedly took place. Many of the killed and their killers were young black men, and their deaths were often related to gang involvement.

This began to change when the New Labour government came to power in 1997 on the back of Tony Blair’s famous pledge to get “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” – and to tackle youth crime in particular. Among the practical targets set were an improvement in school attendance and a reduction in ...

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