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Home Office in the media

Home Office in the media blog: Monday 3 June

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Leading stories

Today's Home Office media stories include the recent Channel migrant crossings, an interview with the Security Minister on the security services, and a report on modern slavery.

Home Office in the media

France urged to do more to stop migrant crossings

France has been urged to do more to stop the flow of migrant boats crossing the English Channel, the Times, Telegraph, the Sun and Daily Mail report.

The papers led on comments made by Lucy Moreton, General Secretary of the Immigration Services Union, who said that the surge in funding for surveillance put in place last Christmas is not working.

She added that French authorities need to put in place measures to stop smugglers stealing or buying small vessels used to ferry migrants across the Channel.

The comments come after 74 migrants, including children, crossed the Channel in eight small boats over the weekend.

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said:

The number of migrants crossing the channel overnight is deeply concerning and I’m receiving regular updates on the situation.

Those who choose to make this dangerous journey across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world are putting their lives in grave danger - and I will continue to do all I can to stop them.

Since I declared a major incident in December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas, I’ve agreed a joint action plan with my French counterpart and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 30 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe. We will continue to seek to return anyone who has entered the UK illegally.

MI5 at 'breaking point'

Britain’s spies have been stretched to breaking point by a series of security threats, the Star, Express and the Sun report.

The coverage runs a comment from the Security Minister Ben Wallace, who told the Mail on Sunday that the security services need investment to protect the UK from potential attacks.

The Sun adds that assaults from cyber criminals, organised crime, right-wing extremists and terrorists have “stretched” MI5.

Minister for Security and Economic Crime Ben Wallace said:

Our investment and increased intelligence officers is on track. It has kept pace but in this gig you are trying to see what is over the horizon.

If we don’t invest, we won’t keep pace. What keeps me awake at night is the rapid growth of organised crime, using encryption and smartphones to organise better. We need to invest in specialised policing to respond to FTFs if they spread out across the world.

What keeps me awake is the fact that we need to be lucky all the time.

Modern slavery victims ‘failed’

Victims of human trafficking have been released from immigration detention back to the addresses where they were enslaved, the Independent reports.

The report claims to have identified several instances where potential victims had been released from detention without being referred to the Salvation Army, as they are supposed to be under the National Referral Mechanism.

It claims that this forced the individuals, including one Chinese woman who was a sex slave for five years, to go back to the address where she had previously been discovered being forced to work in the sex trade.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

When considering accommodation needs all requests are considered on a case-by-case basis, reflecting each individual’s circumstances.

The Home Office contacted the Salvation Army to arrange accommodation once the address provided was deemed unsafe.

However, we accept and regret that the correct processes were not initially followed. We have reminded all staff of the correct procedures and are investigating this case to see what more can be done to prevent incidents like this happening again.

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