Barely a day goes by without a Home Office fiasco making its way into the headlines. This week’s litany includes crime statistics, driven by violent crime and rape, at an all time high, the resignation of the Department’s top asylum chief and the Home Affairs Select Committee meeting, during which MPs were informed that 96% of asylum claimants from last year hadn’t had a decision made on their claim yet. The Home Secretary is often seen as the Government’s “fire-fighter in chief” although the picture from within seems rather more akin to a certain cartoon image of a dog repeating “this is fine” whilst the flames rise around him.

Since time immemorial, successive Home Secretaries have promised that they will finally be the ones to sort it out and use bold rhetoric aimed at appeasing the public. The new (well, sort of) Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, is certainly no exception. Who could forget her seminal “I Have a Dream” riff or her pledges to get back to “common-sense policing?”

But it’s unlikely she’ll ever manage to fix the vast array of problems landing in her in-tray. That’s not a comment on her personal ability; Braverman is faced with the same sprawling leviathan of a Department as her predecessors. The Home Office’s remit is impossibly wide and its political team simply isn’t scaled to it. Unlike in other Departments, the Ministerial team isn’t afforded the lee-way to make lower-level decisions. Instead, every major policy decision has to cross the Secretary of State’s desk. Instead of concentrating on specific, and necessary reforms, they instead end up trying to micromanage the entire sprawl: a surely impossible task.

Making promises to fix the various broken systems for which the Home Office is responsible only serves to undermine public faith in government, our institutions, and the Conservative’s own frequently self-declared reputation as the Party of Law and Order. A YouGov poll from earlier this year showed that the percentage of people who think the police are doing a bad job has more than doubled. This should be home territory for the Tories.

The easy thing to do in these situations is to blame officials. But the Home Office is clearly not staffed with bad people any more than any other Whitehall Department is. In fact, in this case, it is clear we actually need more of them. As a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute outlines, the bottle-neck at the top of the Department could be opened by splitting the Home Office into two separate Departments, roughly doubling the team of ministers and advisors in the process.

More specifically, it could be split into a Department for Immigration and a Department for Security. The Secretary of State for the former could better focus on issues with clear quality-of-life implications, including small boats and the backlog at the Passport office. Meanwhile, a Security Department with a clearer remit would have better oversight over the security services, which some officials described as somewhat of a “Potemkin exercise” to the paper’s author.

Breaking up the Home Office is no silver bullet – not that there are any in politics. And considering that previous Home Secretaries have not been keen on the idea of what is essentially a demotion, it is unlikely that Braverman will have any appetite for this kind of reform. But it’s the best chance Rishi Sunak has got of delivering tangible outcomes in this sphere. Getting two new teams to focus on some deliverable wins and ambitious policies for the next General Election would signal to voters that he is genuinely taking the issues of crime and immigration seriously, rather than promising meaningless and undeliverable soundbites, as others have done before him.

The Home Office is loathed by many on both the left and right of politics. Breaking up its vast empire is a win-win for anyone willing to try.

Emily Fielder is Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute