Home Office in the media

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/09/30/home-office-in-the-media-monday-30-september/

Home Office in the media: Monday 30 September

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Today's leading stories include reports on police recruitment, allegations of disregards for gay sex convictions and foreign fighters.

Police recruitment

The Guardian reports that the Government’s promise to recruit thousands of extra police officers is being jeopardised by delays in the Home Office telling forces how much extra money will be allocated to fund the scheme.

The article notes that Government sources expect it may take until December for each police force to learn how much money they will get. Those trying to recruit claim the delays are preventing the officers from tackling the rising level of serious crime.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

We are committed to giving police extra resources to tackle crime, including recruiting 20,000 more officers over the next three years.

Up to 6,000 of these officers will be recruited by the end of 2020-21 and they will be shared between the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

Disregards for gay sex convictions

A Home Office scheme designed to wipe historical convictions for consensual gay sex from people’s records is failing to right past wrongs, according to the Guardian.

The paper reports that fewer than 200 crimes have been deleted since the disregards scheme was introduced seven years ago. It adds that although sex in private between two men aged over 21 was legalised in 1967, thousands of gay men continued to be convicted under laws against acts such as buggery and soliciting, which remained on the statute books until 2004.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The Government made it possible for men with eligible historical convictions for decriminalised behaviours to apply to have their convictions disregarded.

Those who have their convictions disregarded are also automatically pardoned for the offence.

Foreign fighters

The Mail, Times, Independent, Telegraph, Sun and Express report that according to intelligence sources, British families are plotting to smuggle relatives who joined Daesh out of Syria.

They say there has been 'chatter' among those living in the UK about how they can help suspected jihadi family members get back to Britain.

The Times, Telegraph and Independent carry comments by the Home Secretary to the Sun saying that “our job is to keep the country safe” and “we cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes the woman”.

A Government spokesperson said:

The safety and security of our country and our communities remains the Government’s number one priority.

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