Departmental Mass Media

Home Department written question – answered on 26th February 2009.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) keywords and (b) terms her Department has monitored in the media in each of the last three years.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office, Minister of State (also in the Home Office), HM Treasury

holding answer 8 December 2008

For the period in question the following terms for national and regional print media monitoring were used (Annex 1). These terms continue to be used for our national print media monitoring. A separate set of keywords has been used for regional print media since 1 November 2008 (Annex 2). A further set of themes (Annex 3) was used to monitor coverage of the National Offender Management Service for the period in question until this policy transferred to the newly created Ministry of Justice.

Annex 1:

Home Office national and regional cuts themes

Policing, security, crime and community safety

Policing and Security

Major police operations

Police reform

Changes to Police force structures

Police clear-up rates and detection rates

Neighbourhood policing

Changes to police powers and procedures

Home Office's Police Standards Unit

Police Pay and conditions inc pensions, overtime

Police funding and resourcing

Occupational health and police sickness

Manpower and recruitment

Special Constables

Civilian support staff inc. Community Support Officers

Police equipment including scientific research and development, criticisms, TETRA, Airwave, Police Scientific and Development Branch

Less lethal alternatives to firearms—tasers, CS gas, etc.

Police corruption, complaints, discipline

Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCC)

Very significant stories about individual police authorities, chief constables and forces

Major speeches or articles by individual Chief Constables

Significant coverage of the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Police Federation, and the Association of Police Authorities, particularly if they are either supportive or critical of Home Office policy.

All mentions of SOCA the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and its chair Stephen Lander and director Bill Hughes.

People trafficking—organised crime angle.

Measures to disrupt organised crime

Financial crime e.g. confiscation of assets

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)—all mentions.

Public order—e.g. riots, marches and demonstrations

Football hooliganism

Stop and search—under PACE and under Terrorism Act

Firearms—including policy and law, replicas, incidents involving police use of firearms

Traffic law and review of road traffic penalties—do not cut drink driving campaigns

Bugging and interception/monitoring of communications

Use of intercept as evidence

The Forensic Science Service, especially privatisation and DNA stories.

Terrorism including, international co-operation

Terrorism arrests and investigations

Anti-terrorism legislation including Terrorism Act 2000, Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005

Proposals for new terrorism laws and powers

Security service/Ml5

Crime and Community Safety

Minor crime stories should not be cut. The reporting of major crimes, particularly those that should be cut, and should include the eventual sentencing.

Major crime stories raising political, contentious, emotive or moral issues e.g. sexual offences cases, child abuse, pornography, violent crime committed by children.

Crime, disorder and violence including violent crime, burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, theft, gun crime and hate crime

Alcohol related violence/binge drinking

Anti-social behaviour, RESPECT agenda

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Fixed Penalty notices (NOT ones for motoring offences) and Penalty Notices for Disorder

Crime statistics and British Crime Survey

Crime reduction initiatives, crime prevention, campaigns, Neighbourhood Watch

Drug treatment programmes, drug-testing, Drug Intervention Programme

Drugs Act 2004

FRANK campaign

Legalisation, decriminalisation and reclassification of drugs, including, reclassification of cannabis

Calls for changes to classification of Drugs—including khat, methamphetamine (aka crystal meth, tina) and articles about new drugs of misuse or new drug taking trends

Drugs misuse including heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, amphetamines, Ketamine, Class A drugs, Class B drugs, Class C drugs

Combating drugs misuse

Prescription of heroin to addicts—policy and law

Policing of illegal drugs including cannabis possession, crack houses and crack dens Medicinal use of cannabis

Drugs statistics

Drug seizures

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Supply and trafficking of drugs

Sex offences and sex offenders including Sexual Offences Act 2003, sex offenders register, extreme images, child protection, prostitution (criminal policy aspects) and pornography on the internet

Violent crime and offences including rape, familial homicide and domestic violence

Victim of crime issues

Immigration and identity


All coverage of UK immigration and asylum policy.

Immigration matters within the EU

Individual cases—e.g. removed asylum seekers, deportations, immigration offenders

Immigration removal and induction centres—including Oakington, Yarls Wood, Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Dungavel and Dover Induction Centre.

National Asylum Support Service (NASS)

Support for asylum seekers—healthcare, education, housing.

Unaccompanied children seeking asylum

Refugee integration policy

Nationality and citizenship including citizenship classes.

Migrants from the new EU 'accession states'.

Illegal workers

The size of the illegal population.

Illegal immigrants from France/Belgium/Holland.

People trafficking—when strong immigration angle.


Identity and Passport Service

Passport cards and biometrics

Identity cards

Criminal Records Bureau

International and other responsibilities


Major extradition proceedings and changes to extradition law/policy

Mutual legal assistance cases

Coverage of EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) councils and informals

EU Commissioner (Franco Frattini) comments on UK Home Office policies

EU Treaty articles mentioning JHA opt-in

EU developments on Home Office policy issues

Schengen (not mere mentions)


Broad brush criminal justice pieces—strategy, Criminal Justice System

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority accounts

Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR)

Race in the criminal justice system

Animals—NB: most old Home Office policy areas re. Animals have now moved to DEFRA.

Animal testing

Policy on scientific procedures involving living animals

Regulation and licensing of scientific procedures

Animal Rights Extremists, protests against experiments on living animals—e.g. SHAC, Huntingdon Life Sciences

Calls for Royal Commission on animal experimentation

Freedom of Information Act

Official Secrets Act

Home Office general

All other mentions of Home Office and Home Office Ministers and senior civil servants:

Annex 2:

Regional keywords—used since 1 November 2008

Names (all regional and local titles)

Home Office Minister and Senior Officials

Organisations (all regional and local titles)

Home Office

UK Border Agency OR Border and Immigration Agency

Identity and Passport Service

Criminal Records Bureau

General Register Office

Independent Safeguarding Authority

National Policing Improvement Agency

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Forensic Science Service

Please also search for acronyms-UKBA, BIA, IPS, CRB, GRO, ISA, NPIA, ACMD, FSS.

Policing and security (regional dailies only)

Police funding

Police AND bureaucracy OR red-tape

Neighbourhood policing

Police pay

Policing pledge

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act OR RIPA

Stop and search (only articles commenting on appropriateness of)

MI5 OR Security Service

Terrorism or terrorist

DNA database

Crime and Community Safety (regional dailies only)

Knife crime

Gun crime

Violent crime

Sex Offenders Register

Alcohol AND disorder OR violence

Drugs AND classification

Antisocial behaviour

Not interested in individual incidents/arrests unless the article comments on a wider problem/issue or the Government's response.

Crime statistics

Immigration (all regional and local cuttings)

Immigration OR migration

Immigrant OR migrant

Ignore articles about other forms of migration, e.g. birds

Asylum seeker


Only in an immigration context

Border AND control OR security

Illegal worker OR illegal working

Points Based System


Human OR people trafficking

People smuggling

Identity etc. (regional dailies only)

Identity card OR ID card

Identity fraud

National Identity Scheme

Regional passport office

Passport AND interview

Not interested in stories that just contain the word 'passport'

Family records centre

Annex 3:

National Offender Management Service (NOMS)—Prisons and Probation—used until the creation of MoJ in May 2007


The National Offender Management Service runs 140 prisons in England and Wales and supervises the contracts held by the companies Serco, Securicor, UKDS, Premier Prisons, Reliant Custodial Services and GSL which run the private prisons and court escort services. All stories relating to or mentioning these prisons in any way are to be cut. These might include stories about suicides (self-inflicted deaths), escapes, absconds, assaults, riots and other such incidents within prisons, visits to prisons by Ministers or VIPs, charity events, educational or recreational activities of prisoners/prison staff and work initiatives undertaken within prisons.


All stories with any reference to prisons policy.

Related Organisations

Any major story relating to the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the chief inspector of prisons (HMCIP) or inspector of probation (HMIP).

Any story mentioning the following organisations:


Prison Officers' Association (POA)

Prison Governors' Association (PGA)

National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders (NACRO)

The Howard League for Penal Reform

The Prison Reform Trust

Smart Justice

Parole Board

Stories mentioning the prison related activities of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP), Group4, UK Detention Services (UKDS) or any other company interested in tendering for custodial contracts from the Prison Service.


The other organisation which comes under NOMS is the National Probation Service. All stories relating to the management of offenders in the community are to be cut.

Ministers/Senior Officials


Life sentence prisoners are of particular interest; keywords to look out for include:

Life imprisonment


Life sentence

Automatic life sentence




Her Majesty's pleasure

Discretionary lifer/Discretionary Lifer Panel

Detained for life

Section 2 Crime Sentences Act

Parole Board

Life licence

Life licensee

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