https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/08/06/home-office-in-the-media-06-august-2018/

Home Office in the media: 06 August 2018

Home Office in the media

Today’s Home Office related stories include a report from NFU Mutual into the cost of rural crime, and the letter from the British Airways CEO  on queues at Heathrow.

Cost of Rural Crime

The Today Programme, Times, Guardian, and Mail are among those reporting on figures released today by insurer NFU Mutual, on the cost of rural crime.

The report says that farmers are resorting to “medieval measures” to protect their livestock and machinery as the cost of rural crime has risen at its fastest rate in eight years. NFU Mutual estimates that offences against farmers and other rural businesses cost an estimated £44.5m last year, an increase of 13% from 2016. The biggest increase was seen in Wales, followed by the Midlands.

The Guardian and Today report that the rise is being blamed on organised gangs and cuts to policing.

The Mail says that farmers are turning to unusual security measures to combat rural crime, such as honking geese and spitting llamas.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

"The election of Police and Crime Commissioners has given communities, including those in rural areas, a strong voice in determining how police resources are allocated to tackle the crimes that matter most to them.

"The Government has set out a comprehensive settlement to strengthen local, national and counter terrorism policing. This means police funding will increase by over £460m this year, with around £280m from precept going directly to forces to spend on local priorities.

"We know the nature of crime is changing, which is why the Policing Minister has spoken to every police force in the country to understand the demands they are facing and why the Home Secretary in May committed to prioritising police funding in next year's Spending Review.”

Border Queues at Heathrow

The Times and BBC are among those reporting on a letter written from the boss of British Airways, Alex Cruz criticising Border Force queues at Heathrow.

Writing in the Times, Mr Cruz said queues at the London airport are "significantly worse" than other major hubs across the world. The letter was written in response to proposals for "UK-only" lines after Brexit.

While Mr Cruz said it was ultimately a matter for Government, he said the priority for the Home Office should be preventing long queues.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

"The vast majority of people who arrive at Heathrow get through the border within our service standards.

"But we understand the frustration for those who have experienced longer waits and remain fully committed to working with our partners to reduce waiting times as far as is possible. At the same time, we will not compromise the essential checks we carry out at the border which keep our country safe.

"We are making sure Border Force has the resources it needs and are deploying 200 additional staff at Heathrow over the summer.”

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