Today's Home Office media stories include coverage of police officer numbers, plans to change legislation on marriage certificates to add mothers' details and our policy on EEA nationals who are sleeping rough.
Police officer numbers
The Telegraph follows up a report in the Mail on Sunday which claimed that there are more police officers per head of population than in the sixties. It cites figures from a House of Commons briefing paper which showed that there are 462 people for every officer in England and Wales, compared to analysis of Home Office data which showed in 1961 the figure was 807 people for every officer. The newspaper says this analysis of Home Office figures challenges claims that the police are "under-staffed". It also refers to previous coverage in the paper in which analysis of data showed that nine out of 10 burglaries had been left unsolved.
A statement from Policing Minister Nick Hurd is below.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said:
We are clear that all crimes reported to the police should be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.
This Government protected overall police funding in real terms since the 2015 Spending Review and maintained that protection in a fair funding deal this year.
The independent Crime Survey for England and Wales – acknowledged by the ONS as our best measure of long term crime trends experienced by individuals and families, shows a substantial fall of 9 per cent, in the year ending June 2017 and 38 per cent since June 2010.
The Times reports that the government is planning to change legislation and add details of the mothers of brides and grooms to marriage certificates. They say that currently there is only space for the name and occupation of the fathers of the bride and groom on English and Welsh certificates, a rule introduced in the early 19th century. It is reported that the Bishop of St Albans, the Right Rev Alan Smith, introduced a bill into the House of Lords in June which would let couples sign a document that would be submitted to a computerised database which would mean certificates could be issued with the names and professions of both parents.
Our statement confirming that we are exploring different ways to reform marriage registration is below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
The current legislation which dictates the information that is required on a marriage certificate is outdated.
We have been clear that we want to see the mothers’ details included on marriage certificates and we have been exploring different ways to reform marriage registration.
This Bill has the potential to update the 84,000 hard copy marriage registers, deliver efficiencies to the registration system and provide a solution to this problem. We will be following the Bill with interest.
EEA nationals sleeping rough
The Home Office’s policy of deporting Romanian and Poles who are sleeping rough on the streets could be halted by a judicial review next month, reports the Mail. According to the newspaper, Lambeth Council has challenged the Home Office’s claims that rough sleepers who cannot support themselves lose their rights as EU citizens to freedom of movement. A Home Office statement is carried, stating that no one should come to the UK with the intention of sleeping rough.
The Home Office statement is below.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
No-one should come to the UK with the intention of sleeping rough and we will consider carefully the immigration status of those who are encountered doing so.
We work closely with councils and homelessness outreach services to ensure that those who are vulnerable receive the care they need, while supporting local authorities to tackle the issue of migrants in their communities who have no right to be in the UK.