There's a bit to unpick here, what politicians and experts find is that whilst a tougher crackdown on crime sounds simple enough, it's a bit more complicated - re comparisons with Singapore...
The UKs population is about 12 times greater than Singapore, Singapore also has the massive advantage of being much wealthier (c50% higher GDP per capita) and a small self contained area (always much easier to Police). If the UK wanted an roughly equivalent number of police staff per population we'd need to more than double the size of the UK police force, then you need a massive increase in prison capacity if you're going to imprison more. Singapore has a *very* high immigrant/expat population (over 40%) so they can partially avoid high imprisonment numbers and issues of re-offending simply by having the option of deporting almost half the population elsewhere for the rest of the world to worry about.
Would significantly increasing resources (including in policing numbers *and* on wider social policy) to tackle crime decrease crime - yes, absolutely. However....
Imagine you're the chancellor trying to manage spending - the home secretary comes to you asking for a *massive* budgetary increase in home office spending. They are just one of many departments all bringing large, serious issues to you. The health secretary is asking for massive increases in social care and NHS funding as the UKs population ages, the defense secretary is asking for more defense spending in an increasingly uncertain world, the climate secretary requests more funding to tackle de-carbonisation, the communities secretary wants more funding for local councils to reverse many years of cuts, etc... etc... (you get the picture), there's limited resources and we know how unpopular tax rises can be, so who do you refuse? who do you force to find cuts? Do you increase taxes? How do yourmake the spending increases you need for your crime policy. Difficult choices, not cheap, and not easy to just copy policy from a small city state with a much more collectivist social outlook on society, one with significant restrictions on free speech and the ability to protest, and the other advantages I reference above.
I never argued, and no one is arguing, that hunger is the main cause of shoplifting, or that poverty is the sole cause of crime. There are plenty of bad people out there for sure.What decades of policing, criminology and research has shown though is that crime in society is fed into by lots of factors and many of those moving through the lower reaches of the criminal justice system are a steady stream of societies lost boys, growing up in deprived areas, often subject to abuse of various forms, with limited opportunities ahead of them.
Does high levels of imprisonment without wider social policy to improve broken lives work? The US is probably closest to implementing that kind of model in a large western nation - it imprisons more harshly and at a rate almost three times higher than the UK, their re-offending rate is also much higher and as a society it generally suffer from higher crime rates than the UK. Again - never as simple as it seems. There's lots of evidence that short term prison sentences of under a year (the sort that would be used for low level offending) achieve very little beyond causing further life disruption (eg: losing what remains of their job, their home, family etc...) which pushes prisoners further into crime when they're released. That's not to say prison doesn't have a role and place - but it illustrates how it really isn't as simple as your suggesting.
So it;'s not really cheap and easy - it's complex and expensive.
Hermit - what do you mean by the gov/police being more bothered about the rights of the criminal than the victim - can you give an example?