https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/22/home-office-in-the-media-22-january-2018/

Home Office in the media: 22 January 2018

Metropolitan Police crime statistics

The Telegraph and Mail report on crime statistics from the Metropolitan Police.

The Mail says that there were 5,448 burglaries in the force’s area last month compared to 4,485 in December 2016, while the Telegraph claims that police are no longer prioritising low level crime because of funding issues and mounting pressure to tackle terrorism, cyber crime and historic sex offences.

A Home Office statement can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We expect the police to take all reported crimes seriously, for these to be investigated and where appropriate, for the offenders to be taken through the courts.

The Home Office has undertaken a robust assessment of changing demands on the police and the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service has spoken to the leadership of every police force in England & Wales.

Last month we set out a comprehensive settlement to strengthen local and national policing, which will mean police funding will increase by up to £450m next year. In March 2017 police forces held usable reserves of over £1.6 billion.

Modern Slavery Act powers

The Guardian reports that seven police forces have not charged a single person using the powers under the Modern Slavery Act.

The newspaper says figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request found that the number of reports under the Act increased from 469 in the year up to March 31 2016 to 1,214 in the same period a year later and 1,042 in the eight months up to November 2017.

A Home Office statement can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Modern slavery is a barbaric crime that destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society. In 2015, the Government introduced a world-leading Modern Slavery Act to give law enforcement agencies the tools to tackle this sickening crime and it remains a top priority for this Government.

We are now seeing the first convictions for the new offences prosecuted under the Modern Slavery Act. These are often highly complex cases, with some investigations running for several years before a case is brought to court. Typically they involve many vulnerable and traumatised victims, who require extensive police support ahead of testifying against those who exploited them.

Given the significant increase in operational activity directed against modern slavery over recent months, we expect to see more prosecutions commenced as investigations reach the point of charge.

Online child sexual exploitation

The Times says that a report written by the National Centre for Social Research for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has found that police officers feel they are not well trained enough to investigate online sex crimes against children.

A Home Office statement can be found below.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Child sexual abuse is a sickening crime which this Government is working to tackle; it has been declared a national threat and we are 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.

We recently announced a further £20m over three years to help combat the online grooming of children for sexual exploitation, paying for dedicated officers working undercover to identify and pursue these vile predators. 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.

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