Posts Tagged ‘England’

Victims of honour crimes being failed by ‘majority of police forces’, says inspectorate

Victims of honour based violence are being failed by the majority of police forces in England and Wales, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Participants in the Million Women Rise march earlier this year. MWR is a women-only march and rally combatting male violence against women, held annually in London close to International Women’s Day Corbis

In its first ever inspection of the way police deal with honour-based violence, including female genital mutilation and forced marriage, HMIC reveals that just three out of 43 forces are properly prepared to deal with cases. And almost half of forces are not ready when it comes to being able to protect victims.

riting in the foreword, Sir Thomas Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, says: “Our findings show that honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are not yet being given the priority by the police service that victims deserve.”

The inspectors warn that existing laws do not fully cover the range of risks faced by victims. Although forced marriage and female genital mutilation are criminal offences in their own right, the report warns that there is “no bespoke provision in law for the protection of victims”in cases of honour-based violence which do not include these crimes.

Responding to the findings, Yasmin Khan, director of Halo Project, a charity which helps people who have suffered honour-based violence, said: “It is absolutely paramount that police and safeguarding agencies act swiftly and deal with risks associated with this abhorrent abuse. Too many victims are suffering unnecessarily due to the lack of training and procedures within many organisations.”

Data highlights 500 new FGM cases

Nearly 500 females were newly identified as having been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) in one month, according to newly released figures.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) said 467 patients treated at reporting acute NHS hospital trusts in England were found to have undergone the illegal procedure in September.

The data also showed that 1,279 female patients previously identified as having been subjected to FGM were being treated at the end of last month.

The findings are the first official figures to have been published on the numbers of FGM cases seen in hospitals in England, with 125 of the 160 acute hospital trusts in England returning data for September.

The HSCIC said the results were a “first step” towards understanding how many females have been subject to genital mutilation, but added that the data only included cases reported by acute hospital trusts.


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Female genital mutilation poster campaign targets mothers and carers

A poster campaign aimed at mothers and carers who suspect a girl is at risk of female genital mutilation is being rolled out across major cities in England and Wales.

The posters urge women, particularly those in Somali, Kenyan and Nigerian communities which have a higher prevalence of FGM, to call an NSPCC-dedicated helpline if they are suspicious. The posters will be placed in washrooms, and also sent to schools, GPs’ surgeries, police stations and hospitals to be displayed in staff areas.

More than 20,000 girls under the age of 15 could be at high risk of FGM in England and Wales each year, with nearly 66,000 women having experienced the procedure.

Announcing the poster campaign, the home secretary, Theresa May, said: “FGM is illegal and it is child abuse. The government is absolutely committed to tackling and preventing this harmful practice in order to safeguard and protect all girl and women who may be at a risk. It often results in severe consequences for their physical and mental health and we must do everything we can to eradicate it for good.

Theresa May

Theresa May, the home secretary, who launched the poster campaign, said female genital mutilation was ‘often a hidden crime’. Photograph: Oli Scarff/PA
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