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Dominic Casciani, Home affairs correspondent

Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

Come here for reports and insight into home affairs as well as stories and content from around the web

Domestic abuse crime considered by ministers

20 August 2014
Abused woman
A new offence could end ambiguity over the criminal definition of abuse, ministers say

A new crime of domestic abuse could be created under plans being considered by ministers.

Home Secretary Theresa May is consulting on creating the offence in England and Wales as part of attempts to improve police performance.

Existing law already covers coercive and controlling behaviour - but it does not explicitly apply to relationships.

Earlier this year Mrs May ordered chief constables to come up with domestic abuse action plans by September.

Last year ministers redefined domestic abuse, telling forces and other criminal justice agencies that it included both violence and acts of psychological control that left victims in terror.

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Home Office ordered to pay £224m to e-Borders firm

18 August 2014

The Home Office has been told to pay £224m to a major US corporation it sacked for failing to deliver a controversial secure borders programme.

Ministers will pay Raytheon £50m in damages, plus other costs.

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Votes for prisoners: The zombie case that won't die

12 August 2014

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled - yet again - that the UK has again breached prisoners' rights by failing to give them the vote. It's another in a long line of defeats for ministers stretching back over 10 years.

Man looking out of prison
That ballot box over there? Just out of reach

As legal battles go, the spat with Strasbourg over which criminals get to stick a cross on a ballot paper has now outlasted the almighty row over whether it's appropriate for the UK to deport terrorism suspects to regimes that have a habit of torturing people.

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How many times did court doors close?

22 July 2014

One for spy thriller fans and conspiracy theorists: in the last year, the government has asked judges five times to let it give secret evidence to defend itself in otherwise open court cases.

The figure comes from the government's first annual report on the number of times it has sought to use controversial new powers to close court doors on grounds of national security.

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Babar Ahmad: The godfather of internet jihad?

17 July 2014
Babar Ahmad, 2012

This week has seen the jailing of a man the Americans consider to be one of the most dangerous facilitators of terrorism in the West. But he is likely to be free in less than a year. He was a pioneer when it came to using the web as a tool of jihadist propaganda. So why do thousands of people think that Babar Ahmad is a victim of an injustice?

If you wanted to find the face - and voice - of Generation Jihad, it would be Babar Ahmad.

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Hacking probes: What happens next?

25 June 2014
Andy Coulson leaving the Old Bailey
Convicted: Andy Coulson

What happens now? The conviction of Andy Coulson - and acquittal of Rebekah Brooks and others - is by no means the end of the road for the investigations into criminality - actual or alleged - inside newspapers.

Although The Sun has declared, in a smart, punning headline, that Rebekah Brooks' acquittal was a "great day for red tops", the full picture is rather more complex.

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News of the World trial: Evidence in documents

24 June 2014
One of Mulcaire's notes relating to hacking Milly Dowler

The trial of Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others included hundreds of documents explaining how hacking existed at the heart of the News of the World.

Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, former news editors Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup and former reporters Dan Evans and Neville Thurlbeck had admitted being part of a conspiracy to intercept voicemails.

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No ordinary newspaper

25 June 2014
News of the World

The News of the World wasn't an ordinary newspaper when Andy Coulson was its editor. It had another team you didn't find in your average tabloid newsroom.

Alongside the news reporters and feature writers, there was a department of criminality - a conspiracy at the heart of his newspaper to get the story at any cost.

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How do you define Islamist extremism?

10 June 2014
Protesters holding a banner that says "Islam is superior and will never be surpassed"
The government has broadened its definition of extremism to include "opposition to British values"

The Birmingham Trojan Horse row has reignited a long and difficult debate over defining Islamist extremism.

Today, the government defines extremism as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs".

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About Dominic

Dominic began his career in local newspapers after studying languages at university.

Since joining the BBC in 1998 he has focused on stories relating to law, order, society and belonging - including immigration, ethnicity, the rule of law and terrorism.

He has spent most of his BBC career working online and was one of the pioneers of live online reporting for the BBC, filing stories from the field in the days when mobile phones looked like bricks and we had no idea when the data would reach the news editor.

He is married with two children. His unspellable surname is Italian.

When not undertaking family or work duties, you'll find him cycling up and down hills dreaming of Tour de France greatness.

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