Number 10 Downing Street

The official site of the British Prime Minister's Office

Home Office

Home Office - Policeman outside a court building

Home Office: our vision

The Home Office will defend the country against terrorism, secure our borders and control immigration, enable the police and local communities to step up the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour, and champion equality. We will take the Government's values of freedom, fairness and responsibility as our guiding principles.

The Home Office will be smaller, ensure the best value for money for the taxpayer and reflect our new approach of devolving decisions, funding and accountability, and intervening less.

Police accountability

We will empower the public to hold the police to account for crime in their area. Directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners will give the public a real say in how their streets are policed. We want the public to trust the police and know that they will be there for them when they need them, so police forces will publish local crime data and hold "beat meetings" to strengthen the bond between the police and local people.

Reduce bureaucracy

Alongside this radical shift in power, we want the police to be able to get on with their jobs out and about in local communities fighting crime and not tied up by paperwork or meetings. We will end national targets and simplify institutional structures, removing bureaucratic accountability, improving efficiency and returning professional responsibility.

Civil liberties

We will reverse state intrusion into people's lives, returning freedoms lost through ID cards and the disproportionate use of surveillance powers, the DNA database and the Vetting and Barring Scheme. Citizens will not be subjected to unnecessary or disproportionate state intrusion into their lives.

Immigration control

We will deliver an improved migration system that commands public confidence and serves our economic interests. It will be more efficient and less open to abuse and will reduce the number of non-EU migrants. We are developing policies to meet this objective. As a result of these policies we anticipate net migration will be in the tens of thousands in future.

Terrorism

The Government's approach to counter-terrorism will continue to keep people safe under powers that are proportionate, focused and transparent.

Equality

Through the Government Equalities Office, we will take a new approach to equality based on two key principles: equal treatment and equal opportunities, moving away from the bureaucratic processes of the past. The Government will act as a catalyst and advocate for change by working with businesses, the voluntary sector and wider civil society.

Theresa May, Home Secretary

Home Office: our priorities

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.

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 to strengthen the fight against organised crime.

Create a more integrated criminal justice system

Help the police and other public services work together across the criminal justice system.

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.

Protect people's freedoms and civil liberties

Reverse state interference to ensure there is not disproportionate intrusion into people's lives.

Protect our citizens from terrorism

Keep people safe through the Government's approach to counter-terrorism.

Build a fairer and more equal society

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.

Other major responsibilities

Civil registration in England and Wales

The Home Office, through the Registrar General who is also the Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service, is responsible for the administration of the policy and legislation relating to civil registration in England and Wales. This is operationally discharged in partnership with local authorities.

The Identity and Passport Service also provides passport services to UK nationals at home and to UK nationals abroad.

Counter-terrorism

The Home Secretary is the lead Minister for counter-terrorism. The Home Office develops, directs and oversees implementation of the UK's cross-government strategy countering terrorism (CONTEST).

Equalities

The Home Secretary is the Minister for Women and Equalities. The Home Office, through the Government Equalities Office, takes the lead on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality matters and has responsibility within Government for equality strategy and legislation.