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The Home Office (HO), also known (especially in official papers and when referred to in Parliament) as the Home Department, is a ministerial department of the
Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
, responsible for
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination of which they are not natives or where they do not possess in order to settle as or citizens. , , and other short-term stays in a destination country do not fall under ...
,
security Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its El ...

security
, and
law and order In modern politics, law and order, also known as tough on crime and the War on Crime, is demands for a strict criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, on ...
. As such, it is responsible for
policing The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic ...

policing
in England and Wales, fire and rescue services in England, visas and immigration, and the Security Service (MI5). It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as
drugs A drug is any that causes a change in an organism's or when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via , , , , via a on the skin, , or . In , a drug ...

drugs
,
counter-terrorism Counterterrorism (also spelled counter-terrorism), also known as anti-terrorism, incorporates the practice, military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They ...
, and
ID cards An identity document (also called a piece of identification or ID, or colloquially as papers) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "t ...
. It was formerly responsible for
Her Majesty's Prison Service Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS) is a part of Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (formerly the National Offender Management Service), which is the part of Her Majesty's Government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestica ...
and the
National Probation Service The National Probation Service for England and Wales is a statutory criminal justice service, mainly responsible for the supervision of offenders in the community and the provision of reports to the criminal courts to assist them in their sentenci ...
, but these have been transferred to the
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Justic ...
. The Cabinet minister responsible for the department is the
home secretary The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, i ...
, a post considered one of the
Great Offices of State The Great Offices of State are senior offices in the Government of the United Kingdom, UK government. They are the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary, respective ...
; it has been held since July 2019 by
Priti Patel Priti Sushil Patel (born 29 March 1972) is a British politician who has served as Home Secretary The home secretary is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and head of the Home Office. As one of the fou ...
.


Organisation

The Home Office is headed by the
home secretary The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, i ...
, a Cabinet minister supported by the department's senior civil servant, the
permanent secretary
permanent secretary
. As of October 2014, the Home Office comprises the following organisations:


Non-ministerial government departments

*
National Crime Agency The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a national law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' an ...

National Crime Agency
(NCA) * Security Service (MI5)


Inspectorates / accountability

*
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), formerly Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), has statutory responsibility for the inspection of the police forces, and since July 2017 the fire and ...
*
Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group)The Independents were a group of Modern Art, modernist painting, painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, New Hope, Pennsylvan ...
*
Independent Office for Police Conduct The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is a non-departmental public body In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The ...
and other oversight bodies * HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services


Divisions

*
Border Force Border Force (BF) is a law-enforcement command within the Home Office, responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, common ...
*
HM Passport Office Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) is an agency of the Home Office The Home Office (HO), also known (especially in official papers and when referred to in Parliament) as the Home Department, is a ministerial department of the , responsibl ...
*
Immigration Enforcement Immigration Enforcement (IE) is a law-enforcement command within the Home Office The Home Office (HO), also known (especially in official papers and when referred to in Parliament) as the Home Department, is a ministerial department of the Go ...

Immigration Enforcement
*
Corporate Services Corporate services are activities that combine or consolidate certain enterprise-wide needed support services, provided based on specialized knowledge, best practices, and technology to serve internal (and sometimes external) customers and busines ...

Corporate Services
*
UK Visas and Immigration UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is a division of the Home Office The Home Office (HO), also known (especially in official papers and when referred to in Parliament) as the Home Department, is a ministerial department of the Government of the Un ...
*
Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism The Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) is an executive directorate of the UK government Home Office The Home Office (HO), also known (especially in official papers and when referred to in Parliament) as the Home Department, is a mi ...


Non-departmental public bodies

*
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is a British statutory advisory non-departmental public body, which was established under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Mandate Its terms of reference, according to the Act, are as follows: ' ...
* Animals in Science Committee *
Disclosure and Barring Service The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the North ...
(DBS) *
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), is the foremost investigative agency for labour exploitation in the UK. Its role is to work in partnership with police and other law enforcement agencies to protect vulnerable and exploited workers ...
*
Independent Police Complaints Commission The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Treasury, the Scottish Government ...
(IPCC) *
Investigatory Powers Tribunal In the United Kingdom, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) is a judicial The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court i ...
* Migration Advisory Committee * National DNA Database Ethics Group * Office of Surveillance Commissioners *
Office of the Immigration Services CommissionerThe Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is the United Kingdom regulator of the immigration advice industry whose powers stem from the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 as amended. OISC immigration advisers Although guidance notes an ...
* Police Advisory Board for England and Wales * Police Discipline Appeals Tribunal * Police Remuneration Review Body *
Security Industry Authority The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the statutory organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK. Established as a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a ...
(SIA) * Surveillance Camera Commissioner * Technical Advisory Board


Operations

A number of functions of the
National Policing Improvement Agency The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom, established to support police by providing expertise in such areas as information technology, information sharing, and recruitment. It was a ...
were transferred to the Home Office in October 2012, ahead of the future abolition of the agency. These included: *Use of the
Airwave Airwave(s) may refer to: Telecommunication * Radio wave, particularly artificial waves generated for human communication * Airwave (communications network), a mobile communications network dedicated for use by emergency services in Great Britain ...
communications system by police forces *The Police National Database *The
National DNA Database A DNA database or DNA databank is a database of DNA profiling, DNA profiles which can be used in the analysis of genetic diseases, genetic fingerprinting for criminology, or genetic genealogy. DNA databases may be public or private, the largest on ...
*Legislative powers regarding police employment *Forensics policy *The National Procurement Hub for information technology


Home Office ministers

The Home Office ministers are as follows:


Priorities

The Department outlined its aims for this Parliament in its Business Plan, which was published in May 2011, and superseded its Structural Reform Plan. The plan said the department will: ::1. Empower the public to hold the police to account for their role in cutting crime :::*Introduce directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners and make police actions to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour more transparent. ::2. Free up the police to fight crime more effectively and efficiently :::*Cut police bureaucracy, end unnecessary central interference and overhaul police powers in order to cut crime, reduce costs and improve police value for money. Simplify national institutional structures and establish a
National Crime Agency The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a national law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' an ...

National Crime Agency
to strengthen the fight against organised crime (and replace the
Serious Organised Crime Agency The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) was a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Nor ...
). ::3. Create a more integrated criminal justice system :::*Help the police and other public services work together across the criminal justice system. ::4. Secure our borders and reduce immigration :::*Deliver an improved migration system that commands public confidence and serves our economic interests. Limit non-EU economic migrants, and introduce new measures to reduce inflow and minimise abuse of all migration routes, for example the student route. Process asylum applications more quickly, and end the detention of children for immigration purposes. ::5. Protect people's freedoms and civil liberties :::*Reverse state interference to ensure there is not disproportionate intrusion into people's lives. ::6. Protect our citizens from terrorism :::*Keep people safe through the Government's approach to counter-terrorism. ::7. Build a fairer and more equal society (through the
Government Equalities Office The Government Equalities Office (GEO) is the unit of the Government of the United Kingdom, British government with responsibility for social equality. The office has lead responsibility for gender equality within the UK government, together with a ...
) :::*Help create a fair and flexible labour market. Change culture and attitudes. Empower individuals and communities. Improve equality structures, frontline services and support; and help Government Departments and others to consider equality as a matter of course. The Home Office publishes progress against the plan on the
10 Downing Street 10 Downing Street in London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ...

10 Downing Street
website.


History

On , the Home Office was formed by renaming the existing Southern Department, with all existing staff transferring. On the same day, the
Northern Department The Northern Department was a department of the government of the Kingdom of England from 1660 to 1707 and later the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 until 1782 when its functions were reorganised into the new Home Office and Foreign Office. His ...
was renamed the
Foreign Office Foreign may refer to: Government * Foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its websit ...
. To match the new names, there was a transferring of responsibilities between the two Departments of State. All domestic responsibilities (including colonies) were moved to the Home Office, and all foreign matters became the concern of the Foreign Office. Most subsequently created domestic departments (excluding, for instance, those dealing with education) have been formed by splitting responsibilities away from the Home Office. The initial responsibilities were: *Answering
petition A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English' ...

petition
s and addresses sent to the King *Advising the King on **Royal grants ** Warrants and commissions **The exercise of
Royal Prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions wr ...
*Issuing instructions on behalf of the King to officers of
the Crown The Crown is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

the Crown
, lords-lieutenant and
magistrates The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''Roman magistrate, magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and posse ...
, mainly concerning law and order *Operation of the secret service within the UK *Protecting the public *Safeguarding the rights and liberties of individuals *Colonial matters Responsibilities were subsequently changed over the years that followed: *1793 added: regulation of aliens *1794 removed: control of
military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media L ...
(to
Secretary of State for War 150px, Edward Cardwell, later Viscount Cardwell, Secretary of State for War from 1868 to 1874; architect of the Cardwell Reforms The Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a secretary of state in the Government of t ...
) *1801 removed:
colonial Colonial or The Colonial may refer to: * Colonial, of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colony (biology) Architecture * American colonial architecture * French Colonial * Spanish Colonial architecture Automobiles * Colonial (1920 auto ...

colonial
business (to
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British cabinet-level position responsible for the army and the British colonies (other than India). The Department was created in 1801. In 1854 it was split into ...
) *1804 removed: Barbary State consuls (to Secretary of State for War and the Colonies) *1823 added:
prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention ...

prison
s *1829 added:
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
and other police services *1836 added: registration of births, deaths and marriages in England and Wales *1844 added:
naturalisation Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a statute, i.e., without any effort on the part of the ...
*1845 added: registration of
Friendly Societies A friendly society (sometimes called a benefit society, mutual aid society, benevolent society, fraternal and service organisations, fraternal organization or Rotating savings and credit association, ROSCA) is a mutual association for the purpos ...
*1855 removed: yeomanries and
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
s (to
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
) *1858 added:
local boards of health Local boards or local boards of health were local authorities in urban areas of England and Wales from 1848 to 1894. They were formed in response to cholera epidemics and were given powers to control sewers, clean the streets, regulate environmental ...
*1871 removed: local boards of health (to
Local Government Board The Local Government Board (LGB) was a British Government supervisory body overseeing local administration in England and Wales from 1871 to 1919. The LGB was created by the Local Government Board Act 1871 (C. 70) and took over the public health an ...
) *1871 removed: registration of births, deaths and marriages (to Local Government Board) *1872 removed:
highway A highway is any public or private road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. Roads consist of one or two roadways (British English: ...

highway
s and
turnpikes
turnpikes
(to Local Government Board) *1875 added: control of
explosives An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume associated with an extremely vigorous outward release o ...
*1875 removed: registration of Friendly Societies (to
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be State ownership, state or roy ...
) *1885 removed: Scotland (to
Secretary for Scotland The secretary of state for Scotland ( gd, Rùnaire Stàite na h-Alba; sco, Secretar o State fir Scotland), also referred to as the Scotland secretary, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the Unit ...
and the
Scottish Office The Scottish Office was a department of the United Kingdom Government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern I ...
) *1886 removed: fishing (to
Board of Trade The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade The Department for International Trade (DIT) is a United Kingdom government department responsible f ...
) *1889 removed: Land Commissioners (to Board of Agriculture) *1900 removed: matters relating to
burial grounds
burial grounds
(to Local Government Board) *1905 removed:
public housing Public housing is a form of housing tenure in which the property is usually owned by a government authorities, government authority, either central or local. Social housing is any rental housing that may be owned and managed by the state ...
(to Local Government Board) *1914 added: dangerous drugs *1919 removed: aircraft and air traffic (to
Air Ministry The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United ...
) *1919 removed: use of human bodies in medical training (to Ministry of Health) *1919 removed: infant and child care (to Ministry of Health) *1919 removed: lunacy and
mental health Mental health is "a state of well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So the well-being of a person is what is ultimatel ...

mental health
(to Ministry of Health) *1919 removed: health and safety (to Ministry of Health) *1920 added:
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
s *1920 removed: Representation of Britain abroad in labour matters (to
Ministry of Labour The Ministry of Labour (''British English, UK''), or Labor (''American English, US''), also known as the Department of Labour, or Labor, is a government department responsible for setting national labour standards, labour dispute mechanisms, employm ...
) *1920 removed: mining (to Mines Department) *1921 added:
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
s (from the
Ministry of Health Most executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organizatio ...
) *1922 removed: relations with
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
(to
Colonial Office The Colonial Office was a government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executive bodies in the Machinery of governmen ...
) *1923 removed:
Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the The arts, arts and Science, sciences, work with charitable and welfare Organization, organisations, and public service outside the civ ...
(to Treasury) *1925 removed: registration of
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
s (to Ministry of Labour) *1931 removed:
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries. Members are elected in County Council elections. Ireland The county councils created und ...
s (to Ministry of Health) *1933 added:
poison In biology, poisons are Chemical substance, substances that can cause death, injury or harm to organs, Tissue (biology), tissues, Cell (biology), cells, and DNA usually by chemical reactions or other activity (chemistry), activity on the molecul ...

poison
s *1934 removed:
metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of districts of England, local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as ...
s (to Ministry of Health) *1935 added:
Civil Defence Service The Civil Defence Service was a civilian volunteer organisation in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles ...
*1937 removed: road accident returns (to Ministry of Transport) *1938 added:
fire services A fire department (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American E ...

fire services
*1938 removed:
Imperial Service Order The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his dea ...
and medal (to Treasury) *1940 removed: factory inspections (to Ministry of Labour) *1945 removed: workmen's compensation scheme (to Ministry of National Insurance) *1947 added: infant and child care (from Ministry of Health) *1947 removed: regulation of advertisements (to Ministry of Town and Country Planning) *1947 removed: burial fees (to Ministry of Health) *1947 removed: registration of
building societies A building society is a financial institution owned by its members as a mutual organization. Building societies offer banking and related financial services Financial services are the Service (economics), economic services provided by the fi ...
(to Treasury) *1948 removed:
Broadmoor hospital Broadmoor Hospital is a high-security psychiatric hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England. It is the oldest of the three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England, the other two being Ashworth Hospital near Liverpool and Rampton Secure ...
(to Lunacy Board of Control) *1949 added:
Civil Defence Corps The Civil Defence Corps (CDC) was a civilian volunteer organisation established in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of th ...
*1950 removed: structural precautions for civil defence (to Ministry of Works) *1950 removed: minor judicial appointments (to
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
) *1953 removed:
slaughterhouse A slaughterhouse, also called abattoir (), is a facility where animals are slaughtered to provide food for humans. Slaughterhouses supply meat, which then becomes the responsibility of a packaging facility. Slaughterhouses that produce mea ...

slaughterhouse
s (to
Ministry of Housing and Local Government The Ministry of Housing and Local Government was a United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a ...
) *1954 removed:
markets Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Sweden Art, entertainment, and media Films *Market (1965 film), ''Market'' (1965 ...
(to Ministry of Housing and Local Government) *1956 removed: railway accidents (to Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation) *1969 removed:
reservoir A reservoir (; from French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not per ...

reservoir
s (to Ministry of Housing and Local Government) *1971 removed:
child care Child care, otherwise known as day care, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from two weeks to eighteen years. Child care is a broad topic that covers a wide spectrum of professionals, institut ...
in England (to
Department of Health and Social Security The Department of Health and Social Security (commonly known as the DHSS) was a ministry of the British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of t ...
) *1971 removed: child care in Wales (to
Welsh Office The Welsh Office ( cy, Swyddfa Gymreig) was a department in the Government of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' a ...
) *1972 removed:
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
(to
Northern Ireland Office The Northern Ireland Office (NIO; ga, Oifig Thuaisceart Éireann, Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects ...
) *1973 removed:
adoption Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical fitness, physical, emotional, Social change, social, and intellectual development of a child from infant, infancy to ...

adoption
(to Department of Health and Social Security) *1992 removed:
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functi ...

broadcasting
and
sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectato ...

sport
(to the new Department of National Heritage – later the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport , type = Department , logo = , logo_width = , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = Government Offices Great George Street.jpg , picture_width ...
) *2000 removed:
Metropolitan Police The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), formerly and still commonly known as the Metropolitan Police (and informally as the Met Police, the Met, Scotland Yard, or the Yard), is the territorial police force A territorial police force is a poli ...
(to
Metropolitan Police Authority The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) was the local police authority responsible for scrutinising and supporting the work of the Metropolitan Police Service, the police force for Greater London Greater London is a Ceremonial counties of ...
- later
Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is a functional body of the Greater London Authority responsible for oversight of the Metropolitan Police. It came into being on 16 January 2012 at midnight, replacing the Metropolitan Police Auth ...
) *2001 removed:
Crown Dependencies #REDIRECT Crown Dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in t ...

Crown Dependencies
(to
Lord Chancellor's Department The Lord Chancellor's Department was a United Kingdom government department answerable to the Lord Chancellor with jurisdiction over England and Wales. Created in 1885 as the Lord Chancellor's Office with a small staff to assist the Lord Chancell ...
– now
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Justic ...
) *2007 removed:
criminal justice Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields ...
,
prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention ...

prison
s &
probation Probation in criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...
and legal affairs (to new
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Justic ...
) *2007 added:
counter-terrorism Counterterrorism (also spelled counter-terrorism), also known as anti-terrorism, incorporates the practice, military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They ...
strategy (from the
Cabinet Office The Cabinet Office is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and admini ...

Cabinet Office
) *2016 added: fire and rescue services in England (from the
Department for Communities and Local Government The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is the UK Government department for housing Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to t ...
) The Home Office retains a variety of functions that have not found a home elsewhere, and sit oddly with the main law-and-order focus of the department, such as regulation of
British Summer Time During British Summer Time (BST), civil time In modern usage, civil time refers to statutory time scales designated by civilian authorities, or to local time indicated by clocks. Modern civil time is generally standard time in a time zone at ...
.


Recent incidents


Union action

On 18 July 2012, the
Public and Commercial Services Union The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is the sixth largest trade union in the United Kingdom. Most of its members work in UK government departments The departments of the Government of the United Kingdom are the principal units throug ...
announced that thousands of Home Office employees would go on
strike Strike may refer to: People *Strike (surname)Strike is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Alice Strike (1896–2004), last surviving female Canadian military World War I veteran *Anne Wafula Strike (born 1969), British wheelcha ...
over jobs, pay and other issues. The union called off the strike; it claimed the department had, consequent to the threat of actions, announced 1,100 new border jobs.


Windrush scandal

The first allegations about the unfair targeting of pre-1973
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
migrants started in 2013. In 2018, the allegations were put to the Home Secretary in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
, and resulted in the resignation of the then Home Secretary. The
Windrush scandal The Windrush scandal was a 2018 British political scandal In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the dist ...
resulted in some British citizens being wrongly deported, and being refused life critical medical treatment, along with a further compensation scheme for those affected, and a wider debate on the
Home Office hostile environment policy The UK Home Office hostile environment policy is a set of administrative and legislative measures designed to make staying in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom ( ...
.


Aderonke Apata

Aderonke Apata, a Nigerians, Nigerian LGBT social movements, LGBT activist, made two asylum claims that were both rejected by the Home Office in 2014 and on 1 April 2015 respectively, due to her previously having been in a relationship with a man and having children with that man. In 2014, Apata said that she would send an Pornography, explicit video of herself to the Home Office to prove her sexuality. This resulted in her asylum bid gaining widespread support, with multiple petitions created in response, which gained hundreds of thousands of signatures combined. On 8 August 2017, after a thirteen-year legal battle and after a new appeal from Apata was scheduled for late July, she was granted refugee status in the United Kingdom by the Home Office.


Location

Until 1978, the Home Office had its offices in what is now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Main Building on King Charles Street, off Whitehall. From 1978 to 2004, the Home Office was then located at 102 Petty France, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, a Brutalist architecture, Brutalist office block in Westminster designed by Sir Basil Spence, close to St. James's Park tube station. Many functions, however, were devolved to offices in other parts of London, and the country, notably the headquarters of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Croydon. In 2005, the Home Office moved to a new main office designed by Terry Farrell (architect), Sir Terry Farrell at 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, on the site of the demolished Marsham Towers building of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Department of the Environment. For external shots of its fictional Home Office, the TV series ''Spooks (TV series), Spooks'' uses an aerial shot of the Government Offices Great George Street instead, serving as stand-in to match the distinctly less modern appearance of the fictitious accommodation interiors the series uses.


Research

To meet the UK's five-year science and technology strategy, the Home Office sponsors research in police sciences, including: *Biometrics – including face and voice recognition *Cell type analysis – to determine the origin of cells (e.g. hair, skin) *Chemistry – new techniques to recover latent fingerprints *DNA – identifying offender characteristics from DNA *Improved Forensic profiling, profiling – of illicit drugs to help identify their source *Raman Spectroscopy – to provide more sensitive drugs and explosives detectors (e.g. roadside drug detection) *Terahertz imaging methods and technologies – e.g. image analysis and new cameras, to detect crime, enhance images and support anti-terrorism


Devolution

Most front-line law and order policy areas, such as policing and criminal justice, are devolved in Scotland and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
(and only very partially in Wales), but the following reserved and excepted matters are handled by Westminster.


Scotland

Reserved matters: *Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 *Extradition legislation, but the Scottish Ministers (through the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service) have executive responsibility for all aspects of mutual legal assistance *Most aspects of firearms legislation, but Scottish Ministers have some executive responsibilities for the licensing of firearms; further powers are transferred under the Scotland Act 2012 *Immigration and nationality *Animal experiments, Scientific procedures on live animals. The Scottish Government Justice and Communities Directorates are responsible for devolved justice and home affairs policy.


Northern Ireland

Excepted matters: *Extradition (as an international relations matter) *Immigration and nationality The following matters were not transferred at the devolution of policing and justice on 12 April 2010, and remain reserved: *Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Drug classification *Parades *Security of explosives *
National Crime Agency The National Crime Agency (NCA) is a national law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' an ...

National Crime Agency
The Home Office's main counterparts in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
are: *Department of Justice (Northern Ireland), Department of Justice (policing, public order and community safety) *
Northern Ireland Office The Northern Ireland Office (NIO; ga, Oifig Thuaisceart Éireann, Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects ...
(national security in Northern Ireland) The Department of Justice is accountable to the Northern Ireland Executive, whereas the Northern Ireland Office is a United Kingdom Government, UK Government department.


Wales

Reserved matters: *Law enforcement in the United Kingdom, Policing *Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Drug Abuse *Data Protection Act 1998, Data Protection and access to information *Elections in the United Kingdom, Elections *Gun control in the United Kingdom, Firearms *British Board of Film Classification, Film Classification *British nationality law, Immigration and Nationality *animal experiments, Scientific Procedures on live animals *National Security and Counter-Terrorism *Gambling in the United Kingdom, Betting, Gaming and Lotteries *Emergency Powers *Extradition *Lord Lieutenant, Lieutenancies *Charities


Criticism

In March 2019, it was reported that in two unrelated cases, the Home Office denied asylum to converted Christians by misrepresenting certain Bible quotes. In one case, it quoted selected excerpts from the Bible to imply that Christianity is not more peaceful than Islam, the religion the asylum-seeker converted from. In another incident, an Iranian Christian application for asylum was rejected because her faith was judged as "half-hearted", for she did not believe that Jesus could protect her from the Iranian regime. As outrage grew on social media, the Home Office distanced itself from the decision, though it confirmed the letter was authentic. The Home Secretary said that it was "totally unacceptable" for his department to quote the Bible to question an Iranian Christian convert's asylum application, and ordered an urgent investigation into what had happened. The treatment of Christian asylum seekers chimes with other incidents in the past, such as the refusal to grant Travel visa, visas to the Archbishop of Mosul to attend the consecration of the UK's first Syriac Orthodox Cathedral. In a 2017 study, the Christian Barnabas Fund found that only 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK were Christians, although Christians accounted for approximately 10% of Syria's pre-war population. In 2019, the Home Office admitted to multiple breaches of data protection regulations in the handling of its Windrush compensation scheme. The department sent emails to Windrush migrants which revealed the email address of other Windrush migrants to whom the email was sent. The data breach concerned five different emails, each of which was sent to 100 recipients. In April 2019, the Home Office admitted to revealing 240 personal email addresses of EU citizens applying for settled status in the UK. The email addresses of applicants were incorrectly sent to other applicants to the scheme. In response to these incidents, the Home Office pledged to launch an independent review of its data protection compliance. In 2019, the Court of Appeal issued a judgement which criticised the Home Office's handling of immigration cases. The judges stated that the "general approach [by the home secretary, Sajid Javid] in all earnings discrepancy cases [has been] legally flawed". The judgement relates to the Home Office's interpretation of Section 322(5) of the Immigration Rules. In November 2020, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a statutory body that investigates breaches of the Equality Act 2010 published a report concluding that the Home Office had a "lack of organisation-wide commitment, including by senior leadership, to the importance of equality and the Home Office's obligations under the equality duty placed on government departments". The report noted that the Home Office's pursuit of the "hostile environment" policy from 2012 onwards "accelerated the impact of decades of complex policy and practice based on a history of white and black immigrants being treated differently". Caroline Waters, the interim chair of the EHRC, described the treatment of Windrush immigrants by the Home Office as a "shameful stain on British history". The Home Office has also been criticised for rejecting many asylum claims from LGBT people.


See also

*HOLMES2, Home Office Large Major Enquiry System *John Gieve *Law enforcement in the United Kingdom *List of Home Secretaries *List of permanent under secretaries of state of the Home Office *Ministry of Home Security *UK Immigration Service *Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department


References


External links

*
Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies
— gives a history of responsibilities of the Home Office, including which functions were merged into or transferred away from the Home Office {{Authority control Home Office (United Kingdom), Ministerial departments of the Government of the United Kingdom English law Public safety ministries, United Kingdom Law enforcement in England and Wales Internal affairs ministries, United Kingdom Ministries established in 1782 1782 establishments in Great Britain