Surrey

'Honour crime' awareness tackled by Surrey Police

Police in Surrey want to encourage more people to report crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of a family or community.

Surrey Police said 66 cases of so-called honour crime were reported in 2011 and between January and August 2012 there were 60 reported cases.

The force added that 20 of this year's cases related to forced marriage.

Since July 2011 a team of five specially trained officers have been working to help honour crime victims.

The team run Surrey Police's Diversity Crimes Unit which has close links with outreach services and partner agencies to support those who report honour crime.

Fiamma Pather, director of Surrey-based domestic abuse charity Your Sanctuary which works with the police, said it was "a fairly large problem in Surrey".

"The problem is that it's very much under reported as is in fact all cases of domestic abuse.

"I think it's really important not to try and marginalise it into one or other culture," she said.

Police said while the number of reported honour crimes in Surrey was relatively low they wanted to build awareness that offenders could be prosecuted.

Det Sgt Jackie Broadfoot from Surrey's DCU said: "We are committed to protecting anyone who comes forward and asks for help... in the majority of cases we can ensure safety by re-location and prosecution if necessary."

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