Extent of `honour` crimes exposed in Britain

More than 2,800 so-called honour attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family -- were recorded by Britain`s police last year.

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2011, 18:15 PM IST

London: More than 2,800 so-called honour
attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family --
were recorded by Britain`s police last year, according to
figures released on Sunday.

At least 2,823 incidents of "honour-based" violence took
place, with the highest number recorded in London, the Iranian
and Kurdish Women`s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) found.

The attacks included murder, mutilation, beatings,
abduction and acid attacks.

Compared with 2009 figures released by 12 police forces,
there was a 47 per cent rise in incidents.
The Metropolitan Police (London) recorded 495 attacks;
West Midlands (Birmingham) 278; West Yorkshire (Leeds,
Bradford) 350; Lancashire (northwest England) 227; Greater
Manchester 189.

"This is the first time that a national estimate has been
provided in relation to reporting of honour-based violence,"
the report concluded.

"The number of incidents is significant, particularly
when we consider the high levels of abuse that victims suffer
before they seek help."

IKWRO director Diana Nammi told the BBC: "The perpetrators
will be even considered as a hero within the community because
he is the one defending the family and community`s honour and
reputation."

Honour crimes mostly happen in South Asian, eastern
European and Middle Eastern communities, she said.

Honour-based violence is an "organised or collective crime
or incident" orchestrated by a family or within a community,
she said, adding: "It can be by a relative and sometimes on
the order of community members."

Things considered dishonourable include having a
boyfriend, being a rape victim, refusing an arranged marriage,
being gay and in some cases wearing make-up or inappropriate
dress.

IKWRO believes the British government does not have a
proper national strategy to deal with honour-based violence.

Though it believes awareness of the issue has increased in
recent years, police, teachers, social workers and other
professionals "still don`t really understand it".

A spokesman for the Home Office interior ministry said:
"We are determined to end honour violence and recognise the
need for greater consistency on the ground to stop this
indefensible practice..."

PTI