From http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/

The Home Office is the Government department responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales. The principal aim of the Home Office is to build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities are properly balanced and the protection and security of the public are maintained.

A more cynical view is that the Home office has the responsibility for knee-jerk reactions to popular issues.

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