Today's leading stories include reports on three sets of statistics released yesterday - quarterly crime statistics, the latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme and annual statistics on the use of animals in science. There is also coverage of the Home Secretary's speech on countering extremism.
There is significant coverage of the crime statistics released yesterday, though less than previous quarters. The Guardian, Sun, Mirror, Mail, Telegraph, Independent, Express and Evening Standard all carry reports on the figures.
The headline statistic reported across papers is that knife-related offences have risen by 8% in England and Wales.
While the Guardian reports that 32% of these incidents occurred in London, the Telegraph notes that knife crime rose in rural areas in the past year and suggests that this spread of violence from cities has been fuelled by county lines drug gangs.
Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said:
While the chances of being a victim of crime remain low, we are deeply concerned that certain offences, including serious violence, have increased and we are taking urgent action.
Police funding is increasing by more than £1 billion this year, including council tax and £100 million for forces worst affected by violent crime. I am encouraged to see officer numbers increasing, and that Police and Crime Commissioners have committed to recruit over 3,700 additional officers and staff this year.
We are also acting to address the root causes of violence and stop young people being drawn into crime in the first place. This week we announced a new legal duty for public bodies to work together to prevent and tackle serious violence as part of our public health approach.
EU Settlement Scheme tops 900,000
The Times reports that more than 900,000 EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK after Brexit, according to official figures released yesterday by the Home Office.
The article notes that about 805,000 have been granted settled status or pre-settled status with no applicants being refused.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
I am so pleased we have had more than 900,000 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.
In just a few short months, hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and their families – our friends and neighbours – have secured their rights.
This is great progress but we have more to do. EU citizens and their families have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply and we want no one to be left behind.
More information on the EU Settlement Scheme can be found on this factsheet.
Animal testing figures
The Mail, Sun and Mirror report on the latest Home Office figures noting that scientific testing on live animals has fallen to its lowest level since 2007.
The articles also highlights that according to the figures, testing on dogs is on the rise, with an increase in the number of procedures involving them last year.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world and we are committed to the proper regulation of the use of animals in scientific research.
This research helps us to ensure that medicines are safe to use and to find treatments for cancer and other diseases, among a range of other benefits.
Our legislation provides a rigorous regulatory system that ensures animal research and testing is carried out only where no practicable alternative exists and under controls which keep suffering to an absolute minimum.
The Today Programme and BBC News report that the Home Secretary is due to give a speech later today.
In the speech, the Home Secretary is expected to call for everyone to play their part in countering extremism.
A full transcript of the speech is now available.