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Home Office in the media

Home Office in the media: 5 July 2017

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Home Office in the media

Today's Home Office-related media coverage includes articles focusing on the criminal justice system's response to stalking and harassment,  further coverage around firefighter pay and reporting on new female genital mutilation figures.

Stalking and harassment

The GuardianTimes, Telegraph, Mail, BBC Breakfast and Today programme have all run pieces on a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate report into the handling of stalking and harassment crimes. They say the two inspectorates have criticised the police and Crown Prosecution Service for serious failings which leave victims of stalking and harassment at risk of further persecution.

The National Police Chiefs' Council and Crown Prosecution Service have issued statements making clear that more will be done to improve their response and the support for victims. The Home Office response is below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Stalking and harassment are devastating crimes which cause great distress to victims. That is why we have strengthened the law and are taking steps to introduce a new civil stalking protection order to protect victims at the earliest possible stage.


5 years ago this Government created specific stalking offences to ensure those responsible face justice, and through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 the maximum sentences for both stalking and harassment were raised from 5 to 10 years.


We encourage police forces to continue their efforts to ensure that all victims are safeguarded and all stalkers prosecuted.

Firefighter pay

As part of their coverage on calls for an increase in public sector pay, the Independent, i, Mailand Mirror report that the Fire Brigades Union have said the pay cap was “dead in the water” after firefighters were offered a 2 per cent annual increase from July this year.  

The statement below clarifies that the government plays no role in pay negotiations for firefighters, instead the process is dealt with by the National Joint Council which consists of representatives from fire and rescue authorities and employee representatives, including the Fire Brigades Union.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Central Government has no role in the pay negotiation process for firefighters. It is the responsibility of the National Joint Council to consider what pay award is appropriate taking into account views of all 45 fire and rescue authorities in England.


If the employers side of the NJC want to offer a higher award above the 1% pay cap this does not have to be agreed by central Government provided that fire and rescue authorities can meet it within their existing budgets.

Female genital mutilation

The Guardian reports that more than 9,000 attendances at NHS services in England last year involved the identification or treatment of female genital mutilation, according to a new NHS Digital report has revealed. The Vulnerability and Safeguarding Minister Sarah Newton gave the following statement in response to the figures:

Minister for Vulnerability and Safeguarding Sarah Newton said:

Female Genital Mutilation is a crime and it is child abuse. This Government is clear that it will not tolerate a practice that causes lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.


This Government is taking world-leading action to tackle this devastating crime. We have significantly strengthened the law on FGM, including introducing a new offence of failing to protect a girl from FGM, extending the reach of extra territorial offences, creating civil FGM Protection Orders to ensure we are able to protect women and girls at the earliest opportunity, and introducing a new mandatory reporting duty for frontline professionals.

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