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46 forced marriage cases prosecuted in first year

Forced marriage prosecutions are under way in Britain with 46 completed in the first year since the law was changed, Solicitor General Robert Buckland has announced.

New laws introducing criminal responsibility for people who coerce others into marriage were passed in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Mr Buckland said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been flagging forced marriage cases since 2010, leading to 46 prosecutions last year.

During law officers questions in the Commons, the Solicitor General said: “From 2010 particular offences that involve forced marriage as a key element have been flagged by the Crown Prosecution Service and I’m happy to report that the volume of completed prosecutions in the last year – 2014-15 – rose to 46, which is the highest volume ever.

“More work to be done but encouraging progress.”

Mr Buckland said the joint Foreign Office and Home Office forced marriage unit had given advice in 1,300 cases in Britain and overseas in the last year. He stressed the need for agencies working with children to report any suspected forced marriage, saying it is a form of child abuse.

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