Today's Home Office media stories include calls to end 'indefinite detention', anti-Semitic hate crime and the first National Policing Board.
The Independent reports that the Government has rejected widespread calls to end the indefinite detention of immigrants in the UK, in response to a Human Rights Committee report published in February, which urged the Home Office to introduce a 28-day time limit on how long people can be detained in removal centres.
The paper reports that in a letter to the Human Rights Committee from 23 July, made public yesterday, former Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said a time limit would “severely constrain” the ability to maintain effective immigration control, potentially “incentivise significant abuse of the system, and put the public at risk". A number of high-profile Conservative MPs have told the paper that the Home Office must reconsider the decision, including former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve and former Brexit Secretary David Davis.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
No-one is detained indefinitely. Most people detained under immigration powers spend only short periods in detention.
We have made significant improvements recently, but we are committed to doing more and introducing further alternatives to detention, increasing transparency and improving the support available for vulnerable detainees.
National Policing Board
The Prime Minister has vowed to put 20,000 new police officers on the street within three years to cut knife crime, the Express reports.
As he addressed the National Policing Board at its first meeting at the Home Office, Boris Johnson said the recruitment project was an “absolutely crucial development” as Britain is gripped by violent crime.
The board, chaired by the Home Secretary, will meet quarterly to hold the police to account for meeting the 20,000 target. The Express reports that work on meeting this will begin in September.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
This Government will not hesitate to act and give the police the support they need to protect the public.
We have moved swiftly to set up this Board, provide strong leadership and deliver on our commitment to recruit 20,000 more police officers to crack down on crime and keep us all safe.
Following this meeting, the Government and police will move at pace to drive forward our plans to bolster the police’s ranks.
Anti-Semitic incidents at record levels
There is widespread coverage of figures released by the Community Security Trust (CST), which show a total of 892 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of this year.
The Independent, Guardian, Mail and Today programme report that the level of abuse experienced by the Jewish community is at a record high, with a 10 per cent rise from last year.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Antisemitism is a despicable form of racist abuse which has no place in our society.
Through our Hate Crime Action Plan we continue to improve our response to all forms of hate crime so that no one is attacked because of who they are.
We work closely with the Jewish community, and this year increased funding to the Community Security Trust for protective security to £14 million.