Redbridge has second highest number of reports of honour crime in London

Redbridge has the second highest number of reports of honour-based crime in London. Picture: Anna Go

Redbridge has the second highest number of reports of honour-based crime in London. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA WIRE

Groups working with victims of honour crime have called on the council to do more after new figures detailing the number of reported incidents placed Redbridge joint second in the capital.

Sikh Women’s Alliance chairman Balvinder Saund

Sikh Womens Alliance chairman Balvinder Saund - Credit: Archant

The figures, obtained from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to police, revealed that the borough had the second highest number of reported honour-based crimes in London with 59 reported since 2010 – joint with Newham.

Topping the list was Brent, which recorded 82 in the same period.

Balvinder Saund, of the Sikh Women’s Alliance (SWA) in Ilford, said the figures were “upsetting”.

“The idea of honour is still here,” she said. “It’s about control and subservience. These old ways of thinking should be left behind – there’s no place for it.”

Sudarshan Bhuhi of Aanchal Women's Aid

Sudarshan Bhuhi of Aanchal Women's Aid - Credit: Archant

The former councillor, who says there is still “lots of work to be done”, thinks the council should be putting more resources into preventing it.

Sudarshan Bhuhi, chief executive officer of charity Aanchal Women’s Aid, which works with victims in Redbridge, said the figures were “not surprising”.

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“The issue is quite close to my heart,” said Sudharshan, who fears more incidents are going unreported. “I have been working in here and the economic divide is so diverse – there’s not enough funds for specialised support.”

According to the Metropolitan Police website, honour-based crime is “any criminal offence that is driven by a mistaken desire to protect the cultural or traditional beliefs of a family or community”.

Redbridge Police’s Det Insp Frank Copley said: “The figures quoted are extremely low across the Met Police area. Although still low, it is slightly higher than most in Redbridge. This is likely to be because of demographics.

“It is possible that there is unreported honour-based violence occurring in Redbridge but I encourage all victims to come forward.”

A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said the council commissioned services to help victims and encouraged people to access services such as the Ascent project, which is funded by London councils.

She said: “It’s difficult to know how unreported a particular crime is without more evidence but the council and its partners carry out a lot of work to encourage victims to come forward.

“Honour-based crime also forms part of our Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and we work hard encourage people to come forward. Part of this strategy includes rationalising and improving local services for women and girls who are subject to any form of violence.”

The council plans to launch a new service this month for services related to tackling violence against women and girls.

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