Since becoming PM in July Mr Johnson has vowed to recruit at additional 20,000 police officers. He has also vowed to provide funding for 10,000 more prison places.
Mr Tanner, chair of conservative leaning Onward think tank, argued Mr Johnson should prioritise security over freedom to defeat Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking to Express.co.uk he said: “I’ve been quite heartened by some of the early signals from the Johnson premiership in the sense that I think Boris has clearly identified that the British public are no longer interested to the same degree that they previously were in questions of freedom, individualism, autonomy and actually are much more interested in questions of belonging and community and security.
“If you look at some of he early things he’s done its investment in the police, investment in schools, in prisons and regional investment too in things like high speed north in order to give back a sense of belonging to different places.”
Onward recently published a report, ‘The Politics of Belonging’, which concluded Government should focus on providing security and strengthening communities rather than individual freedoms.
It included a poll that found 65 percent of voters would prefer to live in “a society that focuses on giving people more security”, with only 35 percent opting for one prioritises “giving people more freedom”.
Mr Tanner claimed this shows the British people want more security and state support after Brexit.
He commented: “We don’t find a huge amount of support at all for a low tax, low spend economy.
“If you look at the British social attitudes survey its pretty clear people want more spending and are willing to put up with a big more taxation in order to sustain that and we’ve found that in our polling too.
He launched Onward last year with the aim of making the UK “fairer, more competitive and more united”.
Mr Tanner argued his old boss, Mrs May, would have done more in these areas had it not been for the Brexit focus.
He asserted: “I think she would have done, she herself would admit that.
“I think there’s absolutely no doubt that Brexit sucked a lot of oxygen out of that Government and took up a huge amount of bandwidth within her administration.”
On the subject of how to increase Conservative support Mr Tanner argued there is a big opportunity for the Tories to increase their support from working-class voters.
He put this down to Brexit and changing economic conditions.
Mr Tanner commented: “We have much higher levels of political volatility in peoples voting patterns than we have done at probably any point in the postwar period and people are much less attached to traditional parties.
“That’s true left and right, this isn’t associated with one particular party its happening across the spectrum.
“I think Brexit is part of that but it would be wrong to suggest its the entire picture.
“It’s clearly down to changing economic reality – globalisation, automation, immigration to some degree; changing social reality, people are living in very different communities now to the ways in which they did 20-30 years ago.
“I personally see a huge opportunity for the Conservative Party to reach into parts of Britain and parts of the population that they’ve never really had any business being in and representing working-class and lower middle-class voters.”