Today’s Home Office related stories include a new campaign to inform children of what to do during a terror attack, a letter sent to the Home Secretary by Guy Verhofstadt, statistics on child abuse, and claims about misconduct at an immigration removal centre.
ACT for YOUTH campaign
Today, Counter Terrorism Police have launched a safety campaign aimed at children and teenagers. The ACT for YOUTH campaign reinvents the successful ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ public information films for a new generation.
TV star Bear Grylls and England footballer Jamie Vardy are among the celebrities supporting the first phase of the new initiative designed to teach 11-16 year olds how to react in the unlikely event they are caught in a gun or knife terror attack – including advice not to wait around taking pictures on their phones. Outlets including the Sun, BBC, Guardian and Manchester Evening News have covered the campaign launch.
Further information is available in this news story and a comment from the Security Minister is below.
The Security Minister, Ben Wallace has welcomed the campaign, saying:
Although weapons attacks are rare, events this year have been a stark reminder that everyone must know what to do if they are caught up in a terrorist incident, whatever their age.
This should not stop young people from going out and enjoying the best years of their lives but being alert, not alarmed and knowing the Run, Hide, Tell advice could well be life saving.
Today, I am encouraging parents to discuss this important advice with their children so that they know how to act should the worst happen.
Child abuse statistics
The Independent reports on ONS analysis on the experiences of adults who have survived childhood abuse.
The paper notes that the analysis found that people who were abused as children were more likely to be abused as an adult and that survivors of multiple types of child abuse were more likely to experience domestic abuse in later life, It is also reported that more than a third of those abused by a family member as a child were abused by a partner in adulthood and women who were survivors of child abuse were more likely than men to experience abuse as an adult.
A Government statement on the findings can be found below.
A Government spokesperson said:
No child should suffer abuse or neglect of any kind. We have improved the child protection system to identify children at risk as early as possible and to get them the support they need swiftly. The Children and Social Work Act, passed earlier this year, will also improve the way the police, NHS, social services and other agencies work together to protect children.
We are transforming our approach to domestic abuse to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experiences, safe in the knowledge that the state and the justice system will do everything it can to both support them and their children, and pursue their abuser.
Guy Verhofstadt letter
The Guardian reports the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt has written to the Home Secretary regarding the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
The paper said he has raised concerns about recent issues at the Home Office regarding immigration cases highlighted in the media.
The Home Office comment is below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
The rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged while we are a member of the European Union.
We have offered our sincerest apologies to those affected by recent errors. The Home Office deals effectively with millions of visa, citizenship, passport and immigration status applications each year. When errors arise in immigration cases, the Home Office works as quickly as possible to rectify the situation.
In June we published our offer to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK, confirming no-one living here lawfully will be asked to leave when we exit the EU and they will have a grace period to regularise their status.
The Independent carries an interview with Samin Bigzad, a failed asylum seeker, about conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. These follow the claims made in the recent Panorama investigation.
The Home Office response can be found below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We are clear that all detainees should be treated with dignity and respect and we expect the highest standards from detainee custody officers.
We take all allegations of misconduct or mistreatment of detainees seriously.