Home Office Restructuring

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid Home Secretary, The Secretary of State for the Home Department 11:31 am, 29th March 2007

On the first point, let me offer a correction: it will not be a Department for homeland security. That, by definition, would fragment our counter-terrorist and security effort because of the misapprehension that we can neatly segregate the current threat into foreign affairs, defence affairs and domestic affairs. One of the reasons why we need not only a longer term strategic response but a better integrated one is that the threat is now seamless. It is a seamless threat that runs through foreign and defence affairs and affairs at home. That is another reason why the Opposition's recommendation does nothing to address the current threat.

I can give an assurance that neighbourhood policing—the British style of policing, which has been rolled out through the country—will not only remain in the Home Office but will be a very high priority, as will antisocial behaviour. While some elements of legislation—such as police and criminal evidence legislation—will remain with the Home Office, other elements, such as criminal justice Bills, will pass to the ministry for justice. Therefore there will be a partnership approach.