https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/08/09/home-office-in-the-media-friday-9-august/

Home Office in the media: Friday 9 August

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Today's top media stories include a petition on knife crime, proposals for a fast-track visa route for scientists and figures on incidents attended by fire and rescue services.

Knife crime

The Mirror splash on a petition being delivered to Downing Street by young people affected by knife crime, who have suggested a 12-point plan to tackle the issue.

The paper notes that the young people, who have been working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on knife crime, have called for more money for youth services and tackling the causes of crime.

There is also coverage in the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Sun, Mail and Mirror that police figures show there has been an increase in knife possession offences involving women and girls in England.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

This government will not stand by while more young lives are lost - we are determined to crack down on the scourge of knife crime.

We are giving police the powers and resources they need to protect our communities, including the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers.

It is also crucial to address the root causes of serious violence which is why we are introducing a public health approach that focuses on early intervention and investing over £220 million in projects that steer young people away from crime.

Visas for scientists

There is widespread coverage of the announcement that a new fast-track visa route will be developed to attract the world’s top scientists to the UK.

The Telegraph, Express, City AM, Independent, Times, Daily Mail and Guardian report that the shake-up of immigration rules will see the cap on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas abolished. The Prime Minister has instructed the Home Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to work with the scientific community to develop the route.

The Sun’s leader notes that the announcement shows that Britain can still attract the "best and brightest" while taking back control.

Read the press release in full here.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

We want Britain to be the most prosperous economy in Europe with an immigration system that attracts the brightest and best global talent.

Our new fast-track visa route will be a key part of this - encouraging the world’s top scientists and researchers to our shores.

These gifted minds will bolster the UK’s standing as a hub for science and innovation as we look to introduce a points-based immigration system centred on what people will contribute to our great country.

Fire callouts

The Sun, Metro, Guardian and Telegraph report that 40 per cent of incidents attended by firefighters in the past year were false alarms.

Quarterly statistics for the year ending March 2019, which were released yesterday, show that fire and rescue services attended 231,067 false alarms, marking a two per cent increase on the previous year.

The figures also reveal that firefighters were called out to a total of 575,040 incidents. Of these, 182,825 were fires – a nine per cent increase compared with the previous year.

The statistics can be read in full here.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We are grateful for the continued tireless efforts of firefighters across the country. These statistics show the number of fire and rescue incidents are down 20 per cent compared with 10 years ago, and there are 27 per cent fewer fires.

The rise in the number of incidents last year was driven by an increase in secondary fires, which are usually outdoors and less serious. This is likely to be due to the very hot summer in 2018.

 

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