Home_officeYesterday’s triple whammy will surely be one of the defining moments for this Labour government (see newslinks), one week away from the local elections.

Amid the furore over the accidental release of prisoners,
compounded by John Prescott’s misdeeds and the heckling of Hewitt, John Hutton denied a Labour meltdown.

Today, the Home Office reports a 21% rise in drugs offences and 6% rise in reported robberies this year.

Some voices have tried to pin its ineptitude down to structural problems, rather than New Labour mis-management. The Guardian blames what David Cameron called "systemic failure" on the Home Office over-stretching itself, despite having at least 15,000 civil servants at its disposal. It hasn’t had to manage ID cards yet.

The Home Office claims to be undergoing transformation right at this moment, but the reforms are rather piecemeal compared to what the Financial Times advocates today:

"Once the present mess is under better control, the department’s
functions should be separated into a ministry of justice and a ministry
of the interior. The Home Office is a Whitehall conglomerate that would
do better broken up."

The Conservatives are already planning reform of the Police and prisons, David Davis may now be looking at extending this further across the ministry.

Deputy Editor