Today’s Home Office related stories include calls for an increase in the use of stop and search powers to help tackle violent crime, the trial of the EU Settled Status scheme and changes to immigration rules.
Stop and Search
The Mail reports on comments by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith who says police must use more stop and search to prevent gang violence from spiralling on the streets of Britain.
His comments come after a report by Mr Duncan Smith’s think-thank, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), which warns that a ‘toxic cycle of serious violence’ fuelled by drug dealers who operate ‘with impunity’ is spreading around the country. The 148-page blueprint calls for a US-style crackdown on gang leaders. The paper says the report accuses senior officers of all but abandoning ‘active policing’ – including stop and search – because they fear being accused of institutional racism.
A Home Office statement on stop and search is carried in the article which states that it remains a vital policing tool.
A Home Office Spokesperson said:
“Knife and gun crime has devastating consequences on our communities, and our Serious Violence Strategy signals a step change in the Government’s approach by working with a range of agencies to focus on early intervention alongside strong law enforcement.
“We have been clear that stop and search is a vital policing tool and officers have the Government's full support to use these powers.”
EU Settled Status Scheme
The Today Programme, BBC Breakfast and the Independent are among those that report on the trial of the EU settled status scheme which launches today.
NHS workers in the north-west of England and students and staff from three Liverpool universities are among those invited to apply early for a managed live trial of the process, which the Home Office says should involve up to 4,000 people before a phased roll-out by the end of the year.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
“We have made great progress in preparing for the implementation of the EU Settlement Scheme, which will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need.
“From today we are inviting a small group of EU citizens to make an application to secure their status. We will use their feedback to make any necessary adjustments ahead of the Scheme being fully opened.”
Immigration rules changes
The Guardian reports on its front page how the Home Office has made more than 5,700 changes to the immigration rules since 2010. The paper says the changes have made the immigration system impossible to navigate, according to senior judges and lawyers.
A Home Office statement is carried in the piece which makes clear the number of changes should not be used as an indicator to the number of policy changes.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
“The number of individual changes to Immigration Rules should not be used as an indicator of the number of policy changes.
“Many changes to the Rules involve minor corrections, such as changes to individual words.
“Changes to the Immigration Rules are made for a variety of reasons, including to deliver critical policies that support broader Government priorities including health and the economy, and to respond to the needs of those who use immigration services. They are laid in Parliament and significant changes are communicated to stakeholders.”
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