‘Honour crimes’ in Britain’s Asian communities are not being brought to trial to avoid causing social unrest, a London police officer has revealed.
Detective Sergeant Pal Singh that lack of action by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) caused the collapse what could have been the first conviction for forced marriage in England.
The apathy on the part of the CPS came despite police claiming that “a forced marriage trial would send a strong message to the community”, he alleged.
Forced marriage was outlawed in 2014, but Dt Sgt Singh has accused the public prosecutor of failing to bring culprits to justice.
He told the Telegraph: “The way I see it is that victims are being denied justice, it is in the public interest that I speak out.”
Dt Sgt Singh added: “There appears to be an apathy from the CPS when prosecuting cases where Asian women are victims of honour-based violence. A conviction could lead to unrest in the affected community but if they discontinue a case they know most victims won’t complain due to their vulnerability.”
The police officer took the incredibly unusual step of speaking out after a case in which a young woman was allegedly subject to assault and false imprisonment by her parents and brothers after she refused to marry the man they had chosen for her.
The 27-year-old woman from South London told police she had no choice but to leave her family in case they looked for and assaulted the man she was seeing instead.
Despite her story being corroborated by an independent witness, the CPS dropped the case.
The state prosecutor wrote to Dt Sgt Singh, apologising: “I accept the our service could have been better. In particular we have made a decision to drop the forced marriage charge and did not consult with you. I apologise for this.”
According to data released in September this year, the number of forced marriage cases referred to the CPS has risen 10 per cent in the space of just a year.