Home Office in the media

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/02/25/home-office-in-the-media-blog-monday-25-february/

Home Office in the media blog: Monday 25 February

Today's Home Office stories include further coverage of the case of Shamima Begum, reports of a family found near the Kent coast after a dinghy was spotted in the Channel and news that the City of London police has received £29m in funding from the private sector.

Home Office in the media

Begum regrets speaking to media

The case of Shamima Begum continues to receive coverage across the papers this morning.

An interview with Shamima Begum is carried in the Mail, where she says that she hopes to be given a second chance and would like to be an example of how someone can change. Begum says she also feels discriminated against – punished because she is famous – and questions why dozens of other British women have been allowed to return to the UK from Syria.

The Guardian, Express, Times and Metro further report that Begum regrets speaking to the media, saying: “they are making an example of me. I regret speaking to the media. I wish I had stayed low and found a different way to contact my family. That’s why I spoke to the newspaper.”

The Independent, Mirror and Daily Star report on comments from Begum’s father, who is reported to “not have a problem” with the decision to remove his daughter’s citizenship and said that “she does not accept her wrong”.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

In recent days the Home Secretary has clearly stated that his priority is the safety and security of Britain and the people who live here.

In order to protect this country, he has the power to deprive someone of their British citizenship where it would not render them stateless.

We do not comment on individual cases, but any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly.

Migrant family found after dinghy spotted

The Sun, Times, Mirror and Express report on a family who were found near the Kent coast yesterday after an empty dinghy was spotted in the Channel.

The Mirror reports that the boat was seen off the coast of Kingston, Kent at 4.20am.

The Home Office said the mother, father and five children were transferred to immigration officials for interview, the Sun reports.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Yesterday Border Force responded to an incident in Kingsdown, Kent, following reports of a boat in the channel. Border Force are confident the vessel was used for a migrant crossing.

Since the Home Secretary declared a major incident in December we have tripled the number of cutters operating in the Channel, agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

The number of individuals attempting to cross the Channel decreased from around 250 in December to around 90 in January, with roughly half of the January attempts being intercepted by partners in France before they could make it to British waters.

Police receive £29m funding from insurers and City banks

The Times reports the City of London police has received almost £29million in funding from banking and insurance trade bodies over the past five years.

The force, which is the UK’s leading constabulary for investigating economic crime, received £17million from the Association of British Insurers and a further £11.8million from UK Finance, the banking industry group between 2013 and 2018, the paper reports.

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said it was a “serious conflict of interest”.

City of London Police said it was “proud of the innovative relationships” and that the private sector funding was “critical for funding, skills and intelligence.”

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The scale and nature of fraud means it cannot be tackled by government alone. It demands a collaborative approach, as set out in the 2018 Serious and Organised Crime Strategy.

City of London Police is the national lead for fraud and it is a matter for it and the City of London Corporation how they engage with the private sector.

 

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