Rising trend in ‘honour-based’ abuse offences sparks concerns, research reveals

In the year ending March 2023, the United Kingdom has witnessed a concerning upward trend in the number of police-recorded ‘honour-based’ abuse (HBA) offences.

The data, collected by the Home Office from police forces in England and Wales on a mandatory basis since April 2019, showcases a slight rise in HBA-related offences.

In total, there were 2,905 HBA-related offences recorded in England and Wales (excluding Devon and Cornwall) for the year ending March 2023, representing a modest 1% increase compared to the previous year when there were 2,871 recorded offences.

This rise in reported HBA cases could be attributed to various factors, including general improvements in crime recording, the police’s better identification of HBA incidents, an increasing number of victims willing to report these offences, or possibly even a genuine escalation in such incidents.

Of these 2,905 HBA offences, 84 were related to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and 172 were forced marriage offences. Notably, 33% of the FGM offences were reported under the mandatory reporting duty for FGM.

What’s more, the data reveals that 19% of HBA-related offences were for controlling and coercive behaviour, 16% were for assault with injury, and 12% were for assault without injury. These figures shed light on the diverse nature of these offences.

The data also indicates that there were 2,018 HBA-related incidents recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year. These incidents are reported to the police but do not meet the criteria for a recorded offence according to the National Crime Recording Standard.

The data also breaks down HBA-related incidents by Police Force Area (PFA). The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of both HBA offences and incidents for the year ending March 2023, with 440 recorded offences (15% of the total) and 369 recorded incidents (18% of the total).

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