https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/09/02/home-office-in-the-media-monday-2-september/

Home Office in the media: Monday 2 September

Home Office in the media

 

Today's top media stories include coverage on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, bail reforms, freedom of movement and Taser.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

The Independent reports on criticism of the Government’s work to bring unaccompanied asylum seeking children to the UK under the “Dubs Amendment”.

The article includes comments from Lord Dubs and others calling for the Government to do more to bring over children in northern France.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The UK has made a significant contribution to protecting vulnerable children, providing protection to more than 39,500 children since the start of 2010. In 2018, the UK received the third highest number of asylum claims from unaccompanied children in the EU.

We remain fully committed to relocating 480 children under section 67 and are continuing to make progress to achieve that objective.

Bail reforms

The Independent reports on a letter sent by Sarah Champion MP, demanding that the Government makes changes to the law to prevent domestic and sexual abusers being released on bail without restrictions.

The Independent reports that the letter calls for the Home Secretary to use the Domestic Abuse Bill to create a legal presumption that alleged abusers can only be released from custody with appropriate bail conditions in force. The letter, signed by the Centre for Women’s Justice, Rape Crisis, Refuge, Women’s Aid and others, also calls for the length of time suspects can be kept on bail to be extended.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We continue to work with the police to ensure pre-charge bail conditions are being imposed where appropriate - including to protect victims and witnesses.

The Government is listening to the concerns that have been raised about pre-charge bail to understand the underlying issues and consider what further mitigations can be put in place.

Freedom of movement

The Daily Mail and Times both report on claims that the Government has abandoned plans to end freedom of movement of people from the EU into Britain after October 31. The Today programme also reported on this issue on the programme this morning.

A statement making clear that freedom of movement as it currently stands will end when the UK leaves the EU is carried.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

EU Citizens and their families still have until at least December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and one million people have already been granted status.

Freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October when the UK leaves the EU, and after Brexit the Government will introduce a new, fairer immigration system that prioritises skills and what people can contribute to the UK, rather than where they came from.

Taser

LBC reported that its breakfast presenter, Nick Ferrari, has launched a campaign today titled 'Time For Tasers’. It is calling for the Home Office to ring-fence funding to provide all police officers with Tasers.

Today's programme added that Nick Ferrari has written an open letter to the Home Secretary, asking her to provide a ring-fenced budget so that all police officers can be armed with a Taser. Signatories of the letter include John Apter, the Head of the Police Federation, seven Police and Crime Commissioners, three Chief Constables and Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

The Express reports that the National Police Chiefs’ Council has called an emergency meeting of police chiefs to discuss the rising levels of violence. The paper states that key to the discussion will be whether Tasers should be given to all frontline officers.

A Home Office Spokesperson said:

We are working to ensure the police have the resources, tools and powers they need to keep themselves and the public safe.
The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have announced the recruitment of 20,000 more officers and police funding has increased by over £1 billion this year, including money from council tax and to tackle serious violence.

Taser is an important option and all 43 forces have officers who can use it. As with the deployment of all police resources, it is down to Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners to decide how many of their officers are trained to use Taser.

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