Today's Home Office media stories include an update to the threat level system, police resignations and traffic policing.
Extreme Right threats included in alert system
The Telegraph, BBC Online and the Independent report that threats from Right-wing extremists are to be included for the first time in the national system for alerting the public to the scale of the threat from terrorism.
The system, which grades the risk of a terror attack from highly likely to low, will now cover all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology, says the Telegraph.
The Independent reports that the Home Secretary also announced a change to the definitions of the risk to “ensure clarity in the threat level system”. The new system defines the risks as Critical, Severe, Substantial, Moderate and Low.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Our approach to stopping terrorists is the same, regardless of the twisted ideology that motivates them.
While the Islamist threat remains, we have recently seen an increase in terrorist activity motivated by the extreme right wing.
It is therefore important the public is properly informed about the threats we face, which is why we are making these changes.
The Express reports that record numbers of police quit last year as Britain's violent crime epidemic soars.
According to the report, Home Office figures show 2,175 officers left as the number of crimes rose. The report notes that 43,500 knife crime incidents last year marks an 8% rise and that yesterday, the Home Office published a report that found more than 17,500 boys aged 14 carry a knife or weapon.
The paper reports that incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to hire 20,000 more officers to tackle gangs, thugs and thieves terrorising communities. Louise Haigh says: "Officers have gone above and beyond to fill the growing gaps, but they've paid a high price… Our police simply haven’t been valued.”
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We recognise that the demands on police are changing and becoming more complex, which is why police funding has increased by more than £1 billion this year, including council tax and money to tackle serious violence.
Police and Crime Commissioners have already indicated they plan to recruit over 3,700 extra officers and staff, and this year the number of police officers joining the service exceeded the number of leavers.
The Express reports that road safety experts are demanding an increase in traffic police after a study finds that 70% of drivers believe roads are more dangerous than five years ago.
The paper also notes that motorists say that speeding and mobile phone use is up as the number of police cars they see on the road is down.
The paper reports that in the past three years there has been a 15% decline in road policing numbers in England and Wales.
A Government spokesperson said:
We recognise that the demands on police are changing and becoming more complex. That is why police funding has increased by more than £1 billion this year, including council tax and money to tackle serious violence. Police and Crime Commissioners have already indicated they plan to recruit over 3,700 extra officers and staff.
Later this year the Department for Transport will launch a first-of-its-kind joint review into roads policing and traffic enforcement in a bid to improve road safety.