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No arrests spark worry over new forced marriage legislation

NO ARRESTS have been made in Lancashire under forced marriage laws since new legislation was introduced last summer – prompting fears the powers are not being used.

Forcing somebody to get married against their will was made a criminal offence in June and the move was welcomed by campaigners, who said the law would empower victims to report the issue to the police.

However, following a Freedom of Information request, the Lancashire Telegraph can revealed that in the eight months following the law’s introduction, not a single arrest was made in the county.

Forced marriage and domestic violence specialist Rachel Horman, a director at Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors, which has offices in Blackburn, Darwen, Great Harwood and Accrington, said she believed police were not putting their new powers to use.

Miss Horman, who is from Burnley, said: “It is definitely not a case that there have not been any forced marriages during this time. I have seen loads of cases in that period.

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