Denmark: fighting honor crimes

Concern that many honour related crimes go unreported has led police to develop a plan to prevent family disagreements from turning fatal

The national police force is increasing its efforts to prevent honour related crimes by making sure that they can identify potential problems before they turn violent.

Honour related crimes amongst immigrant families have proved difficult for police to catch wind of. But by informing police on the street of the signs of a potential conflict and by taking steps to make women feel more comfortable about reporting problems, the national police force hopes it can crack cases before they become a crime.

The strategy also calls for local police districts to co-ordinate their efforts with the National Investigation Centre (NEC), as well as social service agencies.

'We have come up with a very systematic way to approach honour crimes,' said Kim Kliver of the NEC. 'The most important thing is that we don't have to sit around and wait for a crime to be committed. The sooner we get involved in a case, the greater the chance that we can stop it before it develops into something serious.'

Kliver said the new efforts would include keeping an eye on how police forces in other countries dealt with honour crimes.

Representatives from women's shelters said they were positive about the initiative, particularly efforts to make women more comfortable about talking to the police.

'These are extremely complicated cases,' said Anne Mau, a spokesperson for LOKK, the national organisation of women's centres. 'But with the new task forces and a more active effort, we can prevent conflicts from turning into honour crimes where everyone loses.'

Source: Copenhagen Post (English)

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