https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2017/12/08/home-office-in-the-media-8-december-2017/

Home Office in the media: 8 December 2017

Home Office in the media

Today’s Home Office-related coverage includes terror arrest statistics, seizures of counterfeit goods, acid attacks and the number of people being tested for drink-driving.

There is coverage of figures released yesterday (Thursday 7 December) regarding Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000, in outlets including the Mirror,  Telegraph, Guardian and Sky News.

The coverage notes that there were 400 terror-related offences in the year up to September 2017, which is a 54% increase on the previous year.

The statistics can be found on GOV.UK while a response to the statistics from the Security Minister can be found below.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said:

 The police and security services have been clear that we are facing a shift rather than a short-term spike in the terrorist threat. The statistics we are publishing today demonstrate the breadth of work that they undertake, alongside the rest of the criminal justice system, day in and day out to keep us safe.

But this is not the totality of our work. The whole of society must come together to challenge the terrorist threat. The public must remain alert but not alarmed and report any suspicions they have about unusual activity or behaviour to the appropriate authorities.

Furthermore, the Government is reviewing its counter-terrorism strategy in light of recent attacks to ensure we meet the threat from terrorism now and in the future.

Counterfeit goods

There is coverage of the work Border Force has done to seize counterfeit goods coming into the country in the Mail  and BBC News Online.

The coverage notes how counterfeit items seized at ports and airports include £1.5million worth of fake Calvin Klein pants, 16,000 razors, 1,440 hoodies, Dyson fans, Pandora charms and children’s toys.

Comments can be found below from the Immigration Minister and Border Force South Director Sue Young.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:

The international trade in counterfeits is linked to serious and organised crime and undercuts honest traders, damaging our economy.

Customers are also left out of pocket with inferior and potentially dangerous goods.

We are determined to crack down on this criminality and have Border Force officers working 24 hours a day at ports, airports and mail sorting centres to identify and seize counterfeits.

Border Force South Director Sue Young said:

Counterfeiters will look to capitalise and cash in where there is a demand for a product and this year our officers have seized all sorts of fake goods - from beauty products to food and electrical goods.

We urge consumers to be careful with their purchases. If the price appears too good to be true – either at a car boot sale, a market stall or online – it probably is.

Acid attacks

Comments by Suffolk Police Assistant Chief Constable, Rachel Kearton, that the UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world are carried in the Mail, Independent, and Guardian.

The coverage notes that the UK had a high number of reported acid attacks and comments from Ms Kearton that it is a difficult crime to police.

A Home Office comment can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

All forms of violent crime are totally unacceptable, which is why this Government is taking robust action to restrict access to offensive weapons and crack down on those who carry acids with the intent to do harm.

Acid attacks can devastate lives and leave victims with both emotional and physical scars.

We are consulting on banning the sale of the most harmful corrosive substances to under 18s and introducing minimum custodial sentences to those who are repeatedly caught carrying corrosive substances without good reason, which mirrors the laws on carrying knives. This sends the clear message that the cowards who use these as weapons will not escape the full force of the law.

Drink-driving

Outlets, including the Telegraph, report that the number of alcohol breath tests have fallen by a quarter over five years. This is according to figures contained in a report by the Institute for Alcohol.

A Government comment can be found below.

A Government spokesperson said:

Police have the powers they need to keep our roads safe and latest figures show that deaths as a result of drink driving on British roads are at a record low.

It is for Chief Constables and locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners to decide how to deploy their resources in response to local priorities.

This Government has protected overall police spending in real terms since the 2015 Spending Review. In 2017/18, the taxpayer is investing £11.9billion in our police system, an increase of more than £475million from 2015.

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