Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Tackle Massive Rise in 'Honour' Violence Cases

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Tackle Massive Rise in 'Honour' Violence Cases

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Correspondent

THE true scale of "honour" violence and intimidation in London is revealed today in shocking new figures.

In the financial year 2007/08, a total of 161 incidents, including 93 criminal offences, were reported to police. The rest were "non-crimes" such as intimidation or attempts at forced marriage. But the following year the number had jumped to 256, of which 132 were criminal offences. And 211 incidents have already been reported in the first six months of this financial year, of which 129 were offences.

This number is more than double the same period last year. There have been a series of horrific attacks which police suspect were motivated by "honour" within the family or community.

Detectives are still investigating the death of mother-of-two Geeta Aulakh, 28, hacked down with a sword in a Greenford street last month. A student aged 18 has been charged with murder.

In July a 24-year-old Asian man from Denmark lost part of his tongue and was left blind in one eye when he had acid thrown in his face in Leytonstone. He was the suspected lover of a married Muslim woman. Two men are awaiting trial.

Police believe the new figures are finally showing the true extent of the problem. Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Campbell, of the Violent Crime Directorate, said: "The description of this type of crime is misplaced. There is no honour in these crimes."

Diana Nammi, of the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, added: "More women are coming forward but I also think cases and violence are increasing. One reason is the rise in fundamentalism."

Mr Campbell said the Met had improved its intelligence systems to better identify such crimes. "Ten years ago our knowledge was almost absent but we have worked hard and our knowledge has improved substantially," he said.

Scotland Yard says there is now a wide focus on dealing with "honour" crime to include all offences ranging from rape, kidnap and murder to harassment and damage to property. Officers are recording instances where women have complained of coming under pressure to enter into forced marriages. …

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