Today's Home Office coverage includes action to tackle child sexual exploitation, hate crime statistics and the National Crime Agency's briefing on modern slavery.
Child sexual exploitation
There continues to be coverage of the Newcastle child grooming case and what is being done to tackle this crime.
Some opinion pieces and newspaper columnists ask whether the problems are systemic in a certain part of British society and whether cases could be classed as racially motivated.
The Home Secretary's comment on the case and wider issues on child grooming can be found below.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
This was an abhorrent case of sexual predators preying on young women and girls and I am pleased that they have been brought to justice.
Child sexual exploitation is a sickening crime. Those responsible are not restricted to any single ethnic group, religion or community – it is an affront to everyone in our society and I want to be absolutely clear that political and cultural sensitivities must never be allowed to get in the way of preventing and uncovering it.
This Government has done more than any other to tackle child sexual exploitation, declaring it a national threat and investing millions of pounds to enable officers to actively seek out and bring offenders to justice. This has led to a huge increase in police activity and a marked rise in prosecutions and convictions.
Our ground-breaking new £7.5 million centre of expertise on child abuse is already conducting research into the motivations of these criminals, so that we can better understand and prevent different forms of offending. An additional £8 million is being invested to stay ahead of the changing threat, including the introduction of regional child sexual exploitation coordinators and analysts, and CSE prevention officers, who work together to identify and pursue these vile predators.
They report comments made by National Crime Agency director of vulnerabilities Will Kerr, who has said modern slavery affects all big cities, there could possibly be tens of thousands of victims and that there are currently 300 live police operations linked to the crime.
The Home Office statement can be found below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society.
This Government has taken world-leading action to tackle it, giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need, toughening up sentences and increasing support and protection for victims.
We continue to support the work of the National Crime Agency to leave criminal networks of traffickers and slavers nowhere to hide. Earlier this year we launched the Joint Slavery and Trafficking Analysis Centre to provide high quality intelligence analysis to assess the threat posed by modern slavery, and to support an increased operational response to this horrendous crime.
The Mail and Times carry articles on hate crime statistic released by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC). The papers report that the NPCC revealed that hate crime incidents spiked following the terror attacks in Manchester and London.
A comment from Baroness Williams can be found below.
Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams of Trafford, said
All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable and those who commit these awful crimes should be met with the full force of the law.
Our Hate Crime Action Plan improved the response of law enforcement and criminal justice system to these horrendous attacks, including ensuring more victims have the confidence to come forward and report such incidents.
We are clear that a single hate crime attack is one too many and we will do everything we can to wipe out hatred and division in our communities. We have made an additional £900K available for local projects to tackle hate crime and £2.4M to protect places of worship. Following the Finsbury Park attack we made an additional £1M available to protect faith institutions and associated community centres from hate attacks.