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Home Office in the media

This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Home Office in the media blog: Wednesday 31 October

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Home Office in the media

Today’s Home Office stories include yesterday's Home Affairs Select Committee, research into knife detectors and police funding in the Budget.

Immigration Minister at Home Affairs Select Committee

There is widespread coverage of Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes' appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday.

The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, FT, Mail, Express, Mirror and Sun all carry stories saying firms will be required to establish EU citizens' right to work in the UK in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The Guardian acknowledged the Minister's comments about the challenges faced by employers in establishing their workers' right to work in such a scenario.

She said: "If someone hasn't been here prior to the end of March next year, employers will have to make sure they go through adequate, rigorous checks to evidence someone's right to work."

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We will protect EU citizens' right when they leave the EU, in both a deal and no deal scenario.

We are considering a number of options for the unlikely event that we reach March 2019 without a deal, and will set out more information shortly.

Home Office funds research into knife detectors

Both the Telegraph and the Express report that the Home Office is on the look-out for scientists who can help develop new technology to secretly spot those carrying knives in a crowd.

The papers say the department is offering up to £500,000 to anyone who can help develop radar or screening technology that will spot blades longer than three inches.

The Telegraph notes that the move comes after a 20 per cent increase in knife crime in England and Wales since 2015.

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said:

Knife crime destroys lives and communities and as a government we determined to keep our streets safe.

Technological developments can play a crucial role in identifying those who are carrying weapons and stop them before they can inflict violence. This is why we are calling for businesses and industry to submit their ideas and help us tackle this issue.

At the same time, we are also working to stop knives appearing on our streets in the first place. The Serious Violence Strategy contains 61 commitments for tackling all forms of violent crime and the Offensive Weapons Bill will make it even harder for young people to buy or possess knives."

Police funding 'ignored' in the budget

The Mail and Independent both carry quotes from the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales claiming police funding was 'ignored' in the Budget.

The Independent acknowledged an additional £160m in funding for counter-terrorism policing announced during Monday's Budget in its report.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We recognise that demand on the police is changing. We have responded positively by providing a strong and comprehensive settlement that is increasing total investment in the police system by over £460m in 2018-19. This includes £50m for counter-terrorism, £130m for national priorities and £280m in force funding from increases in council tax precept income.

We have been on the front foot in engaging with police. The Policing Minister has spoken to leaders in every force in England and Wales to better understand the demand and changing nature of crime faced by forces.

The Home Secretary has already been clear that he will prioritise funding for the police.

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