Honour' attack numbers revealed by UK police forces
Banaz Mahmod left her violent husband to be with her boyfriend, but was killed by relatives in 2006
UK police recorded at least 2,823 so-called honour attacks last year, figures from 39 out of 52 forces show.
A freedom of information request by the Iranian and Kurdish
Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro) revealed that nearly 500 of these
were in London.
Among the 12 forces also able to provide figures from 2009, there was an overall 47% rise in such incidents.
Honour attacks are punishments on people, usually women, for acts deemed to have brought shame on their family.
Such attacks can include acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings and in some cases, murder.
Ikwro said its research, carried out between July and
November, is the best national estimate so far of the extent of honour
violence in Britain, although the charity says the figures do not give
the full picture.
Continue reading the main story Case study
In 2006, Iraqi Kurd Banaz Mahmod, 20, from Mitcham, south
London, was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they
thought her boyfriend was unsuitable.
They believed she had brought shame on her family after she left her violent husband and began the relationship.
Weeks before her death, Miss Mahmod had warned police her family were trying to kill her.
Cousins Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain, both 28, were
jailed last year for a minimum of 22 and 21 years respectively for
killing their relative.
The victim's father Mahmod Mahmod and uncle Ari Mahmod were jailed for life in 2007.
They found that eight police forces had recorded more than 100 honour-based attacks each in 2010.
The Metropolitan Police had the most at 495, followed by West
Midlands (378), West Yorkshire (350), Lancashire (227), Greater
Manchester (189), Cleveland (153), Suffolk (118) and Bedfordshire (117).
Of the 12 police forces able to provide 2009 comparison figures, nine recorded a rise in attacks and three saw totals fall.
The biggest rise was in Northumbria, which saw figures leap
by 305% from 17 in 2009 to 69 in 2010, followed by a 154% jump in
Cambridgeshire from 11 to 28.
A quarter of police forces in the UK were unable or unwilling
to provide data and communities have often been reluctant to talk about
the crime, Ikwro said.
Its director Diana Nammi said families often tried to deny
the existence of honour attacks and those who carried them out were
"very much respected".
She told the BBC: "The perpetrators will be even considered
as a hero within the community because he is the one defending the
family and community's honour and reputation."
She added that there was not enough support for victims, and many needed continuing help and protection.
"For some cases, police and some organisations just help them up to a length of time, then they will stop," she said.
"With honour-based violence, the threat may be a lifetime threat for them."
Ikwro's report said: "This is the first time that a national
estimate has been provided in relation to reporting of honour-based
"The number of incidents is significant, particularly when we
consider the high levels of abuse that victims suffer before they seek
Diana Nammi says she suspects the real picture is "far darker" than figures show
The Metropolitan Police said its domestic violence training for
officers included the issues of honour-based violence and forced
The force said that in addition each of the 32 London
boroughs had a community safety unit, with a total of more than 560
specially trained officers.
A spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police Service has been
on a significant journey regarding how we police honour-based violence
over the past decade, and has played an instrumental part in developing
work in this field.
"We have used our organisational learning over the years to
inform our current policies, staff training and operating procedures.
"We know that like other hate crimes, honour-based violence is under-reported however, and remain very concerned about this."
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) published a strategy in 2008
aimed at gauging the scale of the problem and recommending that all
English and Welsh forces start recording the number of honour incidents.
Of the UK's 52 forces, 45 have now done that, although there is no national guidance in Scotland.
The 52 comprise 39 in England, four in Wales, eight in Scotland, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Commander Mak Chishty, the Association of Chief Police
Officers lead for honour-based violence, said he was satisfied the 2008
strategy was being implemented.
"We're now in consultation on a new strategy. All front-line
staff have received awareness training and every force has a champion on
"Acpo is confident that any victim who comes to us will receive the help they need."
A Home Office spokesman said: "We are determined to end
honour violence and recognise the need for greater consistency on the
ground to stop this indefensible practice.
"Our action plan to end violence against women and girls sets
out our approach to raise awareness, enhance training for police and
prosecutors and better support victims."
In: Regional News
Tags: uk, islam, occupation, caliphate, honor killing, crime, increase
Location: United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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