https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/14/home-office-in-the-media-blog-wednesday-14-november/

Home Office in the media blog: Wednesday 14 November

Today’s Home Office stories include the rise in the murder rate in London, more funding into the disappearance of Madeline McCann, and Border Force intercepting migrants on a stolen boat off the Dover coast yesterday.

Home Office in the media

London murder rate

A number of national media outlets report that the murder rate in London so far has already eclipsed last year’s total, due to a rise in knife crime and domestic abuse.

The Telegraph and BBC London report that following the death of a 62-year-old widow, who was found dead in south London, this took the number of homicides so far during 2018 to 119. The Times reports it is thought she was beaten to death. A 66-year-old man has been arrested.

The papers say that Home Office figures for last year showed there were 118 murders, excluding the terrorist attacks. Among this year’s current 119 total there have been 68 stabbings, 12 shootings and two deaths involving a knife and gun.

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.

 

Madeleine McCann investigation funding

There is widespread reporting in the papers and on broadcast of the additional funding the Home Office has awarded police to continue their investigation into the disappearance of Madeline McCann.

Coverage includes the Daily Star’s front page, who position the funding as a new hope to pursue a “final line of inquiry.” A further £150,000 has been granted to Scotland Yard, the papers report.

The Telegraph notes that force bosses have been applying every six months for extra funding to continue the inquiry which has cost about £11.75million so far.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We have confirmed that Special Grant funding of £150,000 will be provided to the Metropolitan Police Service for the six-month period to 31 March 2019.

 

Border Force intercepts migrants heading to UK in stolen fishing boat

The Times, Telegraph and Express report on how 17 migrants were intercepted off the south coast yesterday after crossing the Channel in a stolen boat.

They took the fishing vessel from the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France. The Times says it is the latest indication that the tough security measures in Calais are forcing migrants to take greater risks.

The papers report that the vessel was intercepted by Border Force before it reached Dover with coverage including the Home Office statement.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Border Force attended a report of a fishing vessel at Dover Harbour this morning, Tuesday 13 November, and boarded it with assistance from Dover Harbour Authorities and HM Coastguard.

Fourteen men and three minors, all of whom presented themselves as Iranian, were found on board.

The Home Office will progress their cases in accordance with the immigration rules and the three minors have been referred to social services.