Saturday, May 14, 2016

A really shocking indictment of our police force

This comes from the New Statesman but for once I have to admit with that hoary old leftie periodical. In fact, I am rather surprised they did publish this, as the subject of the piece is more likely to crop up in the Spectator or, especially, Standpoint: the outrageous truth that most of our police force ignore such matters as forced marriage and "honour" based violence, despite taking the first step towards making it a bureaucratically acknowledged crime, creating an acronym, HBV.

The article, The majority of of police forces' failure to tackle honour-based violence is punishing victims, as clumsy a title as I have ever seen, was sent to me by Detective Sergeant Pal Singh, a good friend of mine, who is mentioned and quoted in the text.
Detective Sergeant Pal Singh has worked on some of the most high-profile “honour” killings in Britain to date, gaining a Metropolitan Police Service award for “Outstanding Individual Contribution to Victim Care” during HBV investigations. He is one of only a handful of people that I believe are truly able to understand the challenges we face and provide the real, practical solutions needed to tackle “honour” crime in all its forms. After spending many years bearing witness to the fatal consequences of inappropriate police responses to HBV, Singh has some important ideas on how to tackle the issue, which have yet to be acted upon.

He suggests that, to begin with, a specialist HBV unit covering the whole of London should be set up as a priority, which makes sense given that most recorded incidents take place there. Other high-risk areas include the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Manchester. Underreporting of “honour” crime is not based on speculation, it is a reality deduced through analysis of poor and inappropriate recording of crime data.
We have heard of too many cases of women denied justice when they go to the police, being sent back to meet more violence and even murder; we know it is happening but we refuse to deal with it because we refuse to acknowledge that certain ideas are superior to others and refuse to accept the basic fact that the law of the land should be the same for all. That means the most important entity is the individual not some community, based on religion or so-called culture.

Read the whole article. It is worth it.

And speaking of Pal Singh, here is one case in which he and his colleagues managed to achieve the result they wanted: the saved the woman from an abusive husband and family as well as putting him in gaol, though possibly the sentence was not quite long enough. That, as we know, is not the province of the police so, possibly, other institutions need to start thinking about the problem as well.

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