The Week

The Week, 16 August 2019

Reformer of the Week

The Department for Health and Social Care, for launching a review to explore how data-driven technologies can be used to deliver targeted health checks to those most at risk.

Reactionary of the Week

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for pledging to increase prison sentences and bolster stop and search. Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, has written for City AM on why these unevidenced policy pledges won’t make our streets safer.

Quote of the week

"We are living through a period in which leading politicians want easy answers to difficult questions. There is no technical fix to this, although AI evangelists often see everything as a technical matter."

Hetan Shah, Executive Director of the Royal Statistical Society, on Thursday

Good week for

Prison security

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged £100 million investment into prison security, including expanding technology to detect and block mobiles being used to organise crime from prison.

The Labour Market

Labour Market statistics show wage growth in the UK has reached an 11-year high, and the employment rate remains at its joint highest, at 76.1 per cent.

Bad week for

Drug deaths

Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show the number of deaths from drug use rose sharply in 2018, and now stands at the highest since records began.

Data privacy

The Information Commissioner’s Office has expressed deep concern about the growing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces, and has launched an investigation into its use at King’s Cross station.

Reform’s Week

On Sunday, the Reform report Making NHS Data Work for Everyone was mentioned in a Sunday Times article on the value of NHS data.

On Monday, Charlotte Pickles’ comments on Boris Johnson’s criminal justice reforms were published in The Financial Times', The TimesThe Independent, The Guardian,  PublicFinance and Yahoo News. Charlotte was also interviewed on talkRADIO and LBC.

On Wednesday, Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for TES on why we should spare a thought for technical education on A-levels results day.

On Thursday, Luke Heselwood’s comments on the Sutton Trust’s annual aspirations polling, which highlighted a worrying  aspiration gap between disadvantaged and advantaged pupils, were covered in TES.

Also on Thursday, Charlotte Pickles wrote an article for City AM on why the Prime Minister’s ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric won’t make our streets safer.