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.”

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