LONDON – Crimes in the name of “honour” against women, including killings, reached an all-time high in the UK in 2010 and recorded a steep increase against the previous year. This surfaced in response to the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)’s freedom of information request on Saturday.
Figures provided by 39 of the 52 regional British constabularies revealed 2,823 “honour” attacks in 2010. These included around 500 in London and marked an overall rise of 47% rise against the previous year. A quarter of police forces in the UK were unable or unwilling to provide data because communities are often reluctant to talk about such crimes.
Such acts are known to be prevalent among a section of South Asian immigrants.
Earlier this week, Pakistani police sought a 58-yearold American national Muzaffar Hussain’s extradition from the US for allegedly murdering his daughter, Naurin, and UK-based sonin-law , Saif Rehman, during a holiday near Islamabad on November 1.
The couple had tied the knot in Manchester without the family’s permission.
Five men were arrested for hacking Geeta Aulakh, an India-born mother of two, to death at her husband’s behest for seeking a divorce in 2009. Geeta was also suspected of having an affair.
“The perpetrators will be even considered as a hero because he is the one defending the family and community’s honour and reputation,” KWRO’s director Diana Nammi told the BBC.
She said there was not enough support for victims and many needed continuing help and protection. Commander Mak Chishty of the association of chief police officers said they are in consultation on a new strategy. “All front-line staff have received awareness training and every force has a champion on honour-based abuse.”
A home office spokesman said, “We are determined to end honour violence and recognize the need for greater consistency on the ground to stop this practice. Our action plan to end violence against women and girls sets out our approach to raise awareness, enhance training for police and prosecutors and better support victims.”