Denmark: Police following up on "honor" related crimes

Police have been swamped by reports of honour-related crime since stepping up preventive efforts in June

With nearly 50 reports of honour-related crime and four active cases since June, police are finding that the problem may be worse than previously believed.

Police intensified their focus on honour killings and other related crimes in June after convictions in the murder of 18-year-old Ghazala Khan.

Khan, a daughter of Pakistani immigrants, married against family's wishes and was killed in broad daylight last year. Her brother was convicted of pulling the trigger. Nine people, all of them family members or friends, were found guilty.

'Fifty is a lot. And of the 50 the national police have investigated four cases, which is also a lot,' Jacob Scharf, head of the national police's division of law enforcement, told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende. 'So we can see that there is a need for our initiative, and that we're looking at a problem.'

One notable case concerned a 43-year-old man who was severely beaten because he refused to kill his sister. In another case a Turkish man was charged for attempting to kidnap and murder his 19-year-old daughter.

The data was gathered at the request of the national police, who asked local police to report crimes that could be honour crimes. They also requested advice and investigative assistance.

Manu Sareen, an ethnic consultant, believes that the police were unaware of the problem's scope.

'Those of us working in this area have noticed the need for initiative, and it has been difficult for the people who need help to make contact with the police and other authorities,' Sareen said.

The National Police and other organisations are currently drafting a strategy for honour crimes, which should be completed sometime next month.

Source: Jyllands Posten (English)

See also: Keeping count of "honor" murders

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