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The Guardian view on violent crime: the next government must keep its promises | Editorial

The gulf between rhetoric and reality on policing and justice is harmful and needs to be closed

The conviction last week of two 12-year-old boys for the murder of a 19-year-old, Shawn Seesahai, with whom they had an altercation in Wolverhampton, has pushed the subject of knife crime up the agenda in the middle of the general election campaign. The pair are the youngest people convicted of murder in the UK for more than 30 years, and a senior investigating officer described his shock at learning their ages.

Typically, rightwing parties place more emphasis on law and order. But tackling crime was not one of Rishi Sunak’s five pledges. Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour party, by contrast, has made “Take back our streets” one of the five “missions” in its manifesto.

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