Honour crimes continue to skyrocket twenty years after brutal murder

Police data show that so-called 'honour crimes' in England have increased by more than 60 per cent in the last two years.

WORLD APRIL 11. 2024 13:13

A report in the British The Guardian analysing data from 26 of the 39 constabularies approached in England, found that in 2022 there were 2,594 cases of „honour-based” crime, including assault, death threats, female genital mutilation, forced marriages and rape.

This represents a 62.2 per cent rise in just two years compared to the 1,599 cases registered in 2020. The jump in the number of so-called honour crimes compared to 2016 is even more pronounced, with a 193 per cent increase in six years.

According to Britain’s Metropolitan Police (Met) website:

„Honour-based abuse is a crime or event committed to protect or restore the ‘honour’ of a family or community.”

The escalation in the number of recorded crimes, The Guardian points out, is also due to the growing number of victims daring to seek out the authorities, as well as to the police force also having enhanced their tactics for detecting such crimes. However, the report noted that geopolitical trends are also likely to be contributing to the uptick. Imran Khodabocus, a director at the Family Law Company, told the paper:

„In cases like this, you can’t minimise the impact of global political and social issues. In my experience, some people are becoming more rigid in their thinking and this is creating more instances where they feel they must defend their, or their families’, honour.

Khodabocus added that the rise in numbers was also borne out by his experience in dealing with honour crimes, which he said were not only becoming more frequent but also more severe. The specialist honour-based abuse solicitor went on to highlight the delays in family courts as perpetuating the issue, saying that many of his cases often drag on in court for up to nine to twelve months, „leaving families and especially children in a vulnerable position”.

The Bretibart news portal points out that Khodabocus tacitly admitted that mass migration played a role in the skyrocketing of honour crimes, saying that one of the reasons for the protracted cases was the lack of court language interpreters.

Deputy Chief Constable Ivan Balhatchet, head of the national police chief’s council responsible for combating honour-based abuse, told a House of Commons committee in January 2023, that

the police „shy away from” such incidents because „they are fear being labelled racists,

the JNS news portal writes.

The period of significant increases in such offences reported by The Guardian coincides with the period when the UK faced one of the largest migration influxes in its history, with an estimated 745,000 people arriving in 2022 and 672,000 in 2023.

According to the 2021 census, with the exception of atheism, Islam saw the largest growth over the previous ten years, with a 44 per cent rise from 2.7 million to 3.9 million identifying as Muslim in the country between 2011 and 2021. The census found that Muslims now account for 6.5 per cent of the population of England and Wales, compared to 2.9 per cent just twenty years prior.

A 2015 report from counter-extremism think tank the Henry Jackson Society found that honour-based violence was most prevalent in South Asian communities in Britain, which are dominated by followers of Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. The anti-honour crime charity Karma Nirvana has also noted that such crimes are “more prevalent within communities from South Asia, the Middle East, and North and East Africa”.

In the report, the areas of England which saw the most instances of honour-based crimes were in the multicultural major cities, with London, Greater Manchester, and Birmingham topping the list.

20 years on after the country was shocked by the murder of Shafilea Ahmed, the situation has only got worse

The government is still failing to protect victims of the so-called „honour killings” 20 years after the murder of Shafilea Ahmed shocked the whole country, the iNews news portal reported last year, citing MPs and charities.

More than 20 years ago, on 11 September 2003, a 17-year-old girl was strangled to death with a nylon bag in front of her own siblings in their family home in Warrington by her parents, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed.

The Ahmed family were a very religious Muslim family who came to the UK from a village in Pakistan. In the past, the parents had clashed repeatedly with their daughter over her ‘Western’ lifestyle and her refusal to marry the man they had chosen for her.

Several authorities, including the police, social workers and teachers, were aware of Shafilea’s conflict with her family in the months before her death, but little action was taken.

The case was a watershed moment in Britain’s understanding of honour-based abuse, but Natasha Rattu, chief executive of the Karma Nirvana victims’ charity, said girls like Shafilea will continue to be let down in 2023, despite repeated promises by governments to tackle the problem.

Twenty years after Shafilea’s death, the situation is getting worse, not just the [police and other agencies’] response, but the systems put in place,” she told iNews.

The portal recalled a similar incident last year. In March, 53-year-old Mohammed Taroos Khan was found guilty of murdering his niece, 20-year-old Somaiya Begum, in Bradford after she refused to enter into a forced marriage.



honour-based crime, uk, womens