https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/11/24/home-office-in-the-media-24-november-2017/

Home Office in the media: 24 November 2017

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Today’s Home Office-related coverage includes new statistics on domestic violence, a rise firearms seizures a the border, Eurostat rape statistics, phones for emergency services personnel and attacks on firefighters.

Domestic violence statistics

Both The Telegraph and The Mail report on Crime Survey figures for England and Wales covering domestic violence. According to the statistics, incidents of domestic violence are at a 10-year low at 1.9million. The papers report that of these victims, 1.2million were female and 713,000 were male.

The Government’s response to this story can be found below.

A Government spokesperson said:

Domestic violence and abuse is a devastating crime that shatters the lives of victims and families. This Government is determined to ensure anyone facing the threat of domestic abuse has somewhere to turn to.

The action we have taken to tackle domestic abuse includes introducing a new offence of coercive and controlling behaviour and rolling out Clare’s law and domestic violence protection orders on a national basis.

Until 2020, the Government is providing £100 million of dedicated funding for tackling violence against women and girls. This includes a £20 million fund to support refuges and other accommodation-based services, providing 2,200 additional bed spaces.

We will publish a landmark draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill to protect and support victims, recognise the life-long impact domestic abuse has on children and make sure agencies effectively respond to domestic abuse.

Sharp rise in Border Force gun seizures

The Daily Mail and The Times are among these who report on the number of guns and related items seized by Border Force, which has almost tripled in a year. According to a disclosure following a parliamentary question, Border Force officers seized 110 real and 353 imitation firearms, as well as 5,849 ‘firearms-related’ items, including pepper sprays and stun guns in 2016/17.

The Home Office’s response to this story can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The UK has some of the toughest gun laws in the world and we are determined to keep it that way.

As well as making physical checks on arriving luggage and cargo, Border Force works with their fellow law enforcement agencies, using intelligence and advanced technology, to detect and stop dangerous weapons at the border.

Our targeted operations and routine searches led to the seizure of over 10,000 offensive weapons last year.

EU rape statistics

According to new figures from Eurostat, the figures for recorded rape in England and Wales are the highest in the EU. The statistics show there were more than 35,000 recorded  rapes in 2015 compared to 12,900 in France and just over 7,000 in Germany.

The Guardian and The Times are among the many publications who have covered the story. Eurostat claim the figures are about the number of rapes reported to the police, and may not reflect the true number of violent sexual crimes.

The Home Office’s response to this story can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We welcome the fact that more victims of sexual offences are coming forward and reporting these crimes to the police.

We want victims to have the confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will get the support they need and that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

Both Eurostat and the Office for National Statistics suggest that the increases in rape and sexual offences are due to greater victim confidence and better recording by the police rather than more sexual assaults taking place.

Police recorded crime figures are not comparable across countries, as countries have different legal systems and definitions of what constitutes as a sexual offence. England and Wales have a more comprehensive coverage of what constitutes recorded crime compared to other countries.

Samsung 4G phone deal for 999 crews

The Telegraph reports on Samsung winning a government contract worth up to £210m to supply 250,000 handsets for a new communications network for Britain’s emergency services.

According to the piece, the three-year deal will supply toughened, water-resistant 4G devices to police, paramedics and fire crews.

The Home Office’s response to this story can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The Home Office has awarded a contract for the supply of 4G Handheld Mobile Devices and accessories to Samsung Electronics that can be used for the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

Using a single ESN 4G device is more effective, efficient and less costly than using a combination of the existing Airwave devices and multiple commercial networks and standard 4G devices.

‘Massive rise’ in attacks on firefighters

The Daily Mail covers new Home Office statistics which reveal a rise on attacks on firefighters attending 999 calls. The paper reports crews came under attack 738 times in the year to March, which is twice a day.

A comment from the Minister for Policing and Fire in response to the statistics can be found below, while the figures are available on gov.uk.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service said:

All attacks on firefighters are deplorable and are taken very seriously. It is a priority for Government to ensure that our emergency service workers are protected and we take a zero-tolerance approach to attacks.

That is why the Government is supporting the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which will provide police and courts with further powers to deal with those who use violence against emergency workers including firefighters.

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