With tough on crime Trump gone, and Biden’s justice reform on the agenda, might Priti Patel temper her focus on the death penalty? Dr Stella Perrott looks at the similarities between Patel’s and Trump’s views on justice, and how the home secretary may change under Biden.
Author: Dr Stella Perrott
Immigration and asylum in 2020 was dominated by three themes – Brexit, the new immigration criteria and rules, and the rise in the number of refugees crossing the channel.
Stella Perrott was a civil servant from 1996 to 2007 and has undertaken a number of inquiries and reviews following public sector failures. Here she assesses what we already know from previous inquiries into serious incidents, and what these lessons should be telling us about the lack of Brexit planning.
Dr Stella Perrott outlines new changes to the asylum system which make it harder for those fleeing war to come to the country. The new system would look first if there was a “third country” which might accept asylum seekers, essentially gearing the system to send them elsewhere, in a cruel move likely to make lives harder for thousands.
Dr Stella Perrott reveals the lack of planning undertaken by both her own county council and by national government to secure food and medicine supplies in January. Having submitted a number of Freedom of Information requests and letters, she found a complete lack of preparation and little concern for the potential disruption.
Dr Stella Perrott talks to some of the “do-gooders” stigmatised by the home secretary, Priti Patel. “No wonder Patel feels she must denigrate and undermine do-gooders but, in doing so, she is attacking the very heart of British society and values.”
The decriminalisation of rape: why the justice system is failing rape survivors and what needs to change
Dr Stella Perrott discusses a new report that shows that the overwhelming majority of sexual assault perpetrators have escaped consequences. “The criminal justice system, from police and prosecution service to the courts, is riddled with ‘rape myths’, is disempowering of and even harmful to victims”
Following recent criticisms of Home Office refugee policies, particularly in respect of the small boat crossings of the Channel and the death of a Kurdish-Iranian family, a number of people have written to their MPs expressing concern. Some replies have already been received. The answers are broadly similar and conform to Home Office ‘lines to […]
If the home secretary wishes to mend the broken asylum system, she might usefully start with improving the systems and processes directly under her control. In her speech to the Conservative Party conference earlier in October, Priti Patel spoke of a “broken” immigration system blaming “activist lawyers” for the Home Office’s failure to return asylum […]
On 16 September, the government announced tougher sentencing measures for serious and violent offenders in the white paper, A smarter Approach to Sentencing, saying it will offer greater protection to the public and time served in custody would better reflect the seriousness of the offence. The proposals are in response to the Conservative’s manifesto commitment […]
The government wrote to voluntary sector organisations on 18 September to say it is restarting evictions of asylum seekers in England and will consult with the devolved nations before starting them again in the rest of the UK. As reported in the Independent, “Individuals who have claimed asylum and had their cases refused will begin […]
The Home Office consultation document Serious Crime Reduction Orders proposes the creation of a new court order that will give the police the power to stop and search a convicted person for a period of up to two years from the start of the order or following a custodial sentence. The government expects that a […]
On 18 September, the Conservative-dominated public accounts committee (which examines the value for money of government projects, programmes and service delivery) published its report: ‘Immigration Enforcement’. The findings are damning, concluding that the Home Office’s approach risks making decisions on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice”. The directorate responsible for immigration enforcement has, as its vision: “to […]
Another Windrush looms as the government rushes to beat the Brexit deadline for returning asylum seekers
The Brexit clock is ticking and the Home Office and Priti Patel are in a hurry to return asylum seekers to EU countries of entry, before the Dublin III provisions end on 31 December. On 26 August, the Home Office cancelled a flight, due to depart the next day and destined to return 23 asylum […]
In their book, published in 2013, The Blunders of Our Governments, Ivor Crew and Anthony King explore 12 examples of government blunders, all of which took place prior to the majority Conservative government of 2015. Their examples are from Conservative, coalition and Labour administrations. A summary of the findings can be found here. They define […]
In response to an increasing number of small boats carrying refugees across the channel, the home secretary, Priti Patel announced on 9 August, that Dan O’Mahoney (former director of the UK’s Joint Maritime Security Centre and previously with the National Crime Agency and Border Control Heathrow) had been appointed to tackle it. About 4,100 people […]
Long-covid sufferers and families of the deceased call on the government to learn from their experience and prevent future debility and heartache
hostile environment for ‘foreigners’ is an equally hostile environment for its own citizens, many of whom continue to feel shame at the direction the country has taken since the referendum and the exodus may continue.
The government’s “slow, inconsistent and negligent approach” to social care during the pandemic was today (29 July) heavily criticised by the commons public accounts committee. The committee is a cross party group with a government majority of members. The report, Readying the NHS and social care for the COVID-19 peak, notes that the NHS managed […]
Stella Perrott explores the continuum between poorly paid employment and exploitative or forced labour and how race and gender underpin workplace exploitation. She discusses the weaknesses of the current regulatory framework and how the government’s ‘hostile environment’ supports the conditions for exploitation
The government’s management of coronavirus is an example of where a superforecaster would insist on not just one review at some time in the future when the final death toll after a second or third wave may be known, but ongoing reviews as the figures and new information emerge over the course of the pandemic.
On 28 June Michael Gove, cabinet office minister, delivered the Ditchley Foundation’s annual lecture entitled the “privilege of public service”. It generated considerably more interest than would normally be expected for a speech on civil service reform to a rather obscure think tank, as it followed accounts of Dominic Cummings’ determination to come down on […]
What are the police for? In 1842, Lancashire magistrates, voted by 81 to 55 votes to abolish the police force. In the same year a number of townships petitioned county magistrates to defund the police. Durham Quarter Sessions received 172 (out of a possible 240) petitions, with over 6,000 ratepayers (property-owning males) signatures. Although the […]
The impact of coronavirus on people in the UK has been very uneven. We know that men, people who are black, Asian or minority ethnic, and those with underlying health problems or who are older, are at risk of severe illness and death. People living in the most deprived communities have been hit hardest. The […]
Measured by the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, countries led by women have done better than other comparable countries led by men. In the advanced economies Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), Tsai Ing-wen (Taiwan), Sanna Marin (Finland), Mette Frederiksen (Denmark) and Angela Merkel (Germany) have been praised for their management of the crisis. The US, […]
As the government lumbers heavily towards its third ‘no-deal’ Brexit deadline, it has strongly asserted that there will be no extension to the transition period. Stella Perrott considers the government’s capacity to deliver a managed Brexit over the coming weeks in the light of the findings of the recent publication of the Institute for Government […]
Following publication of the number of care home deaths due to coronavirus, much media attention has focused on the government’s response to concerns raised in 2017 in the Exercise Cygnus report(published by the Guardian on 7 May 2020). The report highlighted potential difficulties for the care home sector in a flu pandemic. Stella Perrott considers […]
Stella Perrott considers the plight of refugees in the coronavirus outbreak and the need for an internationally agreed approach to the disease. During a crisis our concentric circles of attention and empathy shrink, first to family and friends, and then to our local communities as we struggle to make sense of what is happening and […]
Fifteen senior peers, including Chris Patten, Bob Kerslake and Helena Kennedy have written a letter to the Financial Times calling for a full public inquiry into the UK’s handing of the coronavirus crisis. They argue that the public but particularly “health and care professions, the medical science community and those who have lost loved ones […]
Stella Perrott considers the impact coronavirus is already having on the UK and EU’s attempt to forge a Brexit deal and the implications for the future. David Frost the UK’s Brexit negotiator reassures us by tweet, almost on a daily basis, that the Brexit negotiations are progressing well. This is in spite of Michael Barnier […]