Today’s Home Office stories include reports on the Home Secretary's visit to the US to meet tech firms to discuss progress tackling online child sexual exploitation, and knife crime.
Home Secretary to question tech giants
There is coverage in the Telegraph, Guardian, Mirror and Metro of the Home Secretary’s visit to the USA where he will be focusing on tackling online CSE.
The Home Secretary has warned that advertising by well-known brands is fuelling online CSE. The warning follows work by the Internet Watch Foundation, which has found that advertising brands are appearing on illegal child abuse websites and therefore funding their sites.
The Home Secretary is quoted saying keeping children safe “is his mission” and reports go on to outline steps he is taking to tackle the problem - including chairing a new taskforce and extra funds for schemes which tackle live-streaming.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Keeping our children safe is my mission as Home Secretary and it is vital tech companies take their responsibility seriously.
I have demanded action and will be discussing the progress industry has made during my visit to the US – as well as seeing the latest tools being developed to detect online child grooming.
This Government is leading the response against these sickening crimes. Today, I’ve commissioned new research to look at how advertising is fuelling the sexual exploitation of children online and I am providing further funding for schemes to tackle the live-streaming of abuse.
Tackling knife crime
There is widespread coverage of Crime Minister Victoria Atkins and London Mayor Sadiq Khan's comments on knife crime.
Victoria Atkins was interviewed on the Today programme yesterday, during which she said that “more ruthless” gangs were partly behind the increase in knife crime.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan's suggestion that it could take ten years to fully tackle the problem of knife crime was also widely reported.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
Knife crime has a devastating impact on individuals, families and community. To combat serious violence our strategy addresses the root causes of crime with a focus on early intervention alongside tough law enforcement.
To support this we are consulting on a new ‘public health’ approach to tackling serious violence which would see police officers, education partners, local authority and health care professionals being given a new legal duty to take action to prevent it.
We have also announced new £200million Youth Endowment Fund to provide help and support to children and young people at risk of involvement in crime and violence.
A major factor behind the recent increase in serious violence are changes in the drugs market. That’s why the Home Secretary has ordered an independent review of drug misuse, to increase our understanding of who drug users are, what they take and how often so that, armed with this evidence, we can step up the fight against drugs gangs that prey on our children.