Today's Home Office media stories include online child sex abuse, the immigration salary threshold, detective numbers and academic visas.
Online child sexual abuse
There is widespread coverage of the NSPCC calling on the Government to prioritise young people’s online safety after new figures revealed UK police record an average of 22 cyber-related sexual offences against children every day.
The NSPCC’s chief executive Peter Wanless has called on the Government to introduce a regulator to protect children, the Guardian reports.
An op-ed by the Home Secretary is carried in the Daily Telegraph, where he writes that the safety of children is his “most important responsibility”, and that he will “never waiver” in his mission to “eradicate child sexual abuse.” Mr Javid says that the Government has put numerous measures in place to tackle child sexual abuse, including investing in technology to help police catch perpetrators through upgrades to the Child Abuse Image Database and launching the Online Harms White Paper.
Mr Javid writes in the Telegraph that he knows there is much more to be done across governments, society and industry, which is why he is announcing today that the Government will publish a national strategy to tackle all forms of child sexual abuse, online and offline.
Immigration salary threshold
The Financial Times, Daily Mail, Sun, Telegraph, Guardian and Times report that the Home Secretary is considering discrete visa rules in different UK regions for skilled overseas workers after Brexit.
The papers report that the Home Secretary has raised the prospect of a geographical variation post-Brexit in the minimum salary for migrants seeking work in the UK in a letter to the Migration Advisory Committee.
In the City AM op-ed, the Home Secretary sets out his vision for a single immigration system that works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.
The Guardian, Express and Mirror report that the number of detectives in England and Wales has dropped by 28% since 2010.
The papers report that data obtained under several FOI requests made by Louise Haigh, shadow policing minister, show the number of detectives serving in major crime and murder squads fell by at least 610, or 28%, between 2010/11 and 2017/18. During the same period, the detection rate for homicide fell by more than 10%.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We recognise that demand on the police is changing and becoming more complex.
This is why the Government has increased funding for the police by more than £1 billion in 2019-20, including council tax and funding to tackle serious violence. The funding is already enabling the police to recruit and fill key gaps, such as on detectives.
Police forces are working with the College of Policing to ensure all forces have adequate numbers of qualified detectives now and in the future, and we are funding the development of the Police Now Detective Scheme to help bridge the gap.
Academics’ visitor visa concerns
The Guardian reports that one of Unesco's chiefs says she will no longer host international conferences in the UK because of the Home Office's "inept", "embarrassing" and “discriminatory” visitor visa system.
According to the report, Alison Phipps, Unesco chair in refugee integration and a professor at Glasgow University, accuses the Government of operating what is in effect a "secret travel ban" by refusing visitor visas to academics even when they have full sponsorship to visit the UK for Government-funded projects.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
All immigration applications are considered on their individual merits and on the basis of the evidence available, in line with the immigration rules.
We welcome international academics and recognise their contribution to the UK’s world-leading education sector.