Home Office in the media

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Home Office in the media blog: Wednesday 27 February

Home Office in the media

Today’s Home Office stories cover Channel migrants, an individual immigration case and a report into domestic abuse.

Channel migrants ‘so sure of staying they dial 999’

Migrants crossing the Channel are so confident they will not be sent back to Europe they are dialing 999 to get police to rescue them, the Express, Times and Sun report.

Alan Pughsley Chief Constable of Kent Police told the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday: “They want to be found and helped. On some occasions, they are phoning 999 and asking for our help.”

The papers note his comments follow an incident yesterday where 13 migrants, including a baby and two children were brought ashore in Kent. The crossing follows Monday’s incident where 15 men were found on two boats.

The Metro and Mirror also reported on yesterday’s incident.

The papers also report on the comments by the Director-General of the NCA, Steve Rodhouse, who told MPs that migrants ‘did not fear being returned’. He added there was an increase in crossings because of the warmer weather.

The Express claims Iraqi, Kurds and Afghans are paying smugglers £5,000 to get into the country.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Anyone crossing the Channel – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – is putting their life and the lives of their children at grave risk. The fastest and safest route to protection is to make an asylum claim in the first safe country reached.

Those who are found to have no right to be in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them and since January, over ten people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe.

The UK continues to work closely with France and other countries to return more migrants who have entered the UK by small boat in order to provide a strong deterrent against the dangerous crossings.

Calls to deport Albanian murderer

The Sun splash on the wife of murderer Ardian Rragami calling for the Government to deport him.

The paper says that Albanian national Rragami has been fighting deportation for four years, claiming that it will break up the ‘loving family’ he has in Britain with his wife and two daughters. The paper says that he has since “made a mockery” of that claim after footage emerged of him attacking his wife Chrysoulla.

The paper says that the individual entered the UK illegally in 1998 while fleeing Albania for murder and claimed to be a refugee from the Kosovo war.

In 2009 he was tracked down by Interpol and was returned to Albanian, but only served four years before being released and returning to the UK after he appealed his sentence.

The Sun reports that the Home Office has previously tried to deport him, but attempts have been tied up in legal red tape as he claims deportation will breach his human rights by denying him a family life here.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Foreign National Offenders who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes have no place in this country.

They should be in no doubt about our determination to remove them and since 2010 we have removed nearly 45,800 foreign offenders.

Domestic abuse report

The Times, Telegraph and Sun report that a watchdog has warned that victims of domestic abuse are at risk of further attacks, after a rise in suspects released without bail restrictions.

The Times says that the report, by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS), said that reforms introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary could allow perpetrators to return to abusive relationships without measures which would be imposed under police bail. The paper says that the number of people released on bail for domestic abuse has dropped by 65 percent since the changes came into force almost two years ago.

The Telegraph says that the rule changes mean most suspects are now released under investigation rather than bailed, meaning restrictions cannot be attached to prevent them contacting alleged victims. The paper says that campaigners have warned that the reduction in the use of conditional bail by police forces is leaving victims vulnerable to further attacks.

Sian Hawkins, head of campaigns at Women’s Aid, is quoted in the Telegraph as calling the report’s findings “extremely alarming”.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that shatters the lives of victims and families. We are determined to ensure anyone facing the threat of domestic abuse has somewhere to turn to.

We have been encouraged by the significant improvements in the police response to domestic abuse, with prosecutions and convictions up by 20% and 28% respectively.

Our landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill and consultation response published in January includes measures to help the police tackle domestic abuse, including the creation of a Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Order and training for police.

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