What matters to me in #GE2024: Crime and social issues

Zara, 18, shares what matters in this election 

What matters to me in #GE2024: Crime and social issues

The upcoming general election will be a pivotal moment in British and international history, with crime and social issues being central in leaders' debates. Crime is a major concern for young voters in England, and adults are increasingly becoming aware of how crime can affect their children, as there has been a sharp rise in drug related crime, knife crime and cybercrime.

Current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has repeatedly showcased his commitment to order and security, promising to implement more specialized training and increase the numbers of police officers on our streets. There is a clear priority to crack down on crime – however as young people we need to make sure our politicians are held accountable and are doing enough. 

Crime has encompassed and spread through the whole of England, with children being groomed into drug gangs and/or sold machetes and ‘zombie style’ weapons. Without sufficient prevention and protection – the young people of England will remain feeling unsafe and unheard.

Opposition leader Kier Starmer has stated that the current criminal justice system is a ‘stain on our country’ and claims that a Labour government will half the amount of rape cases in England through increased numbers in the police force and special attention to the crimes held against women and children. Starmer makes the note that he will avoid the ‘complacency’ of the current government and ensure that mental health and domestic abuse specialists will be present throughout proceedings to ensure victims have the support they need. 

Social issues such as housing, education and healthcare seem to be forefront of voters' minds this general election, as the cost-of-living crisis has affected us all, leading to many small businesses closing and many homes with no food or warmth. Bills have skyrocketed, and although coming down, many still feel the economic strain upon them and their families. Additionally, the recent pandemic has highlighted the deep-rooted issues within the NHS, waiting times seem to be at an all-time high and GP appointments' impossible to get. There is a collective need from voters for comprehensive policies to be put in place to reform and save our NHS, we can see this through the heated debates from our political parties. 

Education has also been a main area of focus, as the public criticizes the quality of public education, and the gaps between comprehensive and private schooling. There is a clear push from the public for the disparity between public and private school education to be eliminated, as high-level education should be accessible for all. Additionally, the stigma and harsh gap between the university and apprenticeship route needs to be quashed. 

In conclusion, crime and social issues are central to the general election, as the response to them shapes both the voter's opinion and the party's political stature. Crime and social issues require a comprehensive approach, there is a new immediate need and societal shift towards creating a society that is safe, fair and equitable for all. 

As young voters we need to ensure our opinions and voices are heard, we need to research and question the tactics of each political leader and see how their values may or may not align with ours. As the future leaders of this country, it is our priority to ensure that our lives and our prospects are in the right hands.

Zara is a guest contributor and writes from Brighouse.

Header Image Credit: Vision plug via Pexels

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