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Civitas ( Institute for the Study of Civil Society ) 2008

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Crimes of the Community:
Honour-based violence in the UK
A Civitas Project
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Authors: James Brandon & Salam Hafez
ISBN: 978-190338664-4
Publishers: Centre for Social Cohesion A Civitas Project
Price: 15
Publication Date: 2008
 
Publisher's Title Information
 

Crimes of the Community is the most in-depth and comprehensive study of honour-based violence ever carried out in the UK.
 
Based on over 80 interviews with women's groups, victims of honour-based violence and community activists from around England, Scotland and Wales, the report examines honour-killings, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and other. forms of abuse. It explains why traditional ideas of honour can cause violence and why government policies have failed to end such abuses.
 
The report concludes by describing how community leaders, social workers and the government can act together to tackle this violence.
 

Introduction
 
In recent years, honour crimes have received an increasing amount of interest from the media, the police and politicians. This has been fuelled by the extensive coverage of the murder of several young Kurdish and Pakistani women by their families. [1]
 
This growing public concern has been largely welcomed by women's groups and has prompted the government to take steps to tackle these crimes. However the media's focus on honour killings and, to a lesser extent, forced marriages and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has obscured the true scale of honour-based crime. Honour killings represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of violence and abuse perpetrated against women in the name of honour.
 
This study shows that honour killings, domestic violence, forced marriage and FGM are not isolated practices but are instead part of a self-sustaining social system built on ideas of honour and cultural, ethnic and religious superiority. As a result of these ideas, every day around the UK women are being threatened with physical violence, rape, death, mutilation, abduction, drugging, false imprisonment, withdrawal from education and forced marriage by their own families. This is not a one-time problem of first-generation immigrants bringing practices from 'back home' to the UK. Instead honour violence is now, to all intents and purposes, an indigenous and self-perpetuating phenomenon which is carried out by third and fourth generation immigrants who have been raised and educated in the UK.
 
This report focuses on four aspects of honour-based violence:
Forced marriage
Domestic violence
Honour killings
Female Genital Mutilation
 
Many of these problems are common to all societies. Domestic violence and 'crimes of passion' exist worldwide. However, honour crimes differ significantly from other outwardly similar crimes. While typical incidents of domestic violence involve men using force against their wives, honour-based abuses regularly involve a woman's own sons, brothers and sisters, as well as members of their extended family and in-laws. Similarly, the pre-planned and ritualised nature of much of this violence (particularly in the case of honour-killings and FGM) makes such behaviour distinct from other ad-hoc forms of violence against women.
 
This study explains how and why many British women, and indeed many men, are told that they are not allowed the right to be independent, to have control over their own bodies and who are being denied, often through force, an opportunity to choose their own destiny. The report concludes with recommendations on what the government can do to prevent these abuses.
 
[1] Some of the most frequently cited killings have been those of Rukhsana Naz, a 19-year old woman of Pakistani origin in Derby in 1998, Heshu Yones, a 16-year old Kurdish girl in North London in 2003, and Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year old Kurdish woman in South London in 2006. The Guardian: 'Love, honour and obey - or die', by Jason Burke. October 8 2000.
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The Public and The Police
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Author: Harriet Sergeant
ISBN: 978-1 903386-66-8
Publishers: CIVITAS
Price: 5
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher's Title Information

 
Expenditure on the police force is at record levels but there is widespread public dissatisfaction and a steep increase in complaints against the police. Police are rarely seen in their communities. It is hard to get them to respond to reports of crime; investigations are lacklustre and often abandoned.
 
The police, in their turn, complain of being short of resources. Although police numbers are historically high, compared with other developed countries they are low. Furthermore, crime rates in England and Wales are amongst the highest in the developed world, so the workload of officers is unmanageably large. Officers have been submerged by a flood of paperwork, so that only 14 per cent of their time is spent on patrol.
 
The public have no power to influence policing. All decisions are taken by politicians, but there is no accountability within the system. Centralisation has led to the introduction of targets. Bonuses are paid to senior officers based on compliance with targets. In order to achieve the required level of detections, police officers pursue those who will yield easy convictions, such as speeding motorists or high-spirited students, rather than the serious and persistent offenders who are destroying the quality of life in communities.
 
Police officers swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, not the Prime Minister. Unlike many other police forces, British police were not intended to be servants of the state, but of the communities they serve. Their powers are personal, used at their own discretion and derived from the crown. This essential feature of British policing - policing by consent - is now in jeopardy.
 

The Author
 
Harriet Sergeant is the author of Welcome to the Asylum: immigration and asylum in the UK (Centre for Policy Studies, 2001); No System to Abuse: immigration and health care in the UK (CPS, 2003); Managing not to Manage: management in the NHS (CPS, 2003); Paying Twice: policing a local community (Civitas Review, Vol. 1, issue 4, December 2004) and Handle with Care: an investigation into the care system (CPS, 2006). She has also written three books: Between the Lines: Conversations in South Africa describes the effect of apartheid on some of its Indian, coloured, black and Afrikaaner inhabitants in the early 1980s; Shanghai is a history of the world's most international city between 1927 and 1939; and The Old Sow in the Back Room recounts her experiences of Tokyo where she lived for seven years. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines in Britain and abroad and frequently appears on radio and television.