Raising awareness of honour-based crime in Sussex

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POLICE are working to tackle the number of honour-based crimes in Sussex.

Temporary chief constable Giles York said an internal audit by Sussex Police revealed 30 such crimes were committed in the period between October 1, 2011, and April 24, 2013, but said the number of unreported crimes could be far higher.

He revealed the figures to Sussex’s police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne at their monthly performance and accountability meeting.

As well as the 30 crimes, there were 104 incidents reported within this period.

Mrs Bourne raised the issue following concerns by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), that a number of such crimes went unreported by victims.

Honour-based crimes involved usually violent offences, committed to protect the honour of a family member or community.

Speaking of the audit, the temporary chief constable said: “It’s quite a long period of time that audit covered and I agree with yourself and the HMIC that this is a very under-reported type of criminality coming through to us.”

Mr York said the force was looking at a number of ways of tackling honour crimes.

He said the key goals were to encourage people to come forward, to look at how the police supported victims and finally how to enforce the law and bring perpetrators to justice.