hat tip- “A friend” who prefers to remain anonymous
” I wrote to the Metropolitan Police and asked for info about “honour” crimes and the phenomena of children being taken away from school by their parents, often to get married, usually in Pakistan. The text of the reply is below. It’s actually not that interesting, but I have highlighted a couple of points.  The definition of HBV is almost laughable. The Met also acknowledges that people from other “agencies” have given information about the victims of honor crimes to their families. Also the police do not keep records of children that are missing from school. What a joke. “

———

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2008060006989 
I write in connection with your request for information dated 24/06/2008 which was received by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 24/06/2008.  I note you seek access to the following information: 
3.1 Does your force keep a record or records of honour crimes or attempted/ threatened honour crime? Does your force recognise honour crime as an issue?
3.2 Does your force have a record of honour crime for any period in the past five years? If so please provide figures of:- 3.2.1 Investigated honour cimes, by reference to offence committed.
3.2.2
 Investigated honour crimes referred to Crown Prosecution Service.
3.2.3 Honour crimes brought to trial, 3.2.3.1 resulting in a guilty verdict 3.2.3.2 resulting in a not-guilty verdict or some other outcome 3.2.7 Any breakdown of 3.2 and or 3.2.1 – 3.2.3(1) -(2) by reference to age, sex, religion, ethnicity or other indicator. 3.3 Does your force have any officers or units dedicated to investigating honour killings? 3.4 What manpower and resources are allocated to the investigation of honour killings? 3.5 Do you provide assistance with and/or facilities to (whether in connection with any third party, agency, local authority etc) those who have reported or have been the victim of an honour crime? By way of example safe housing and police protection. 3.6 Have any of your officers, employees or agents been investigated in connection with the supply of information to third parties revealing or tending to reveal the identity of or location of any person afforded protection under 3.5 or otherwise provding information tending to compromise any protection afforded. 3.7 Have you investigated any employees of departments of state or state agencies or local council or in connection with the revelation of information pertaining to the matters referred to in 3.5. 3.6 Have you received any representations from third party organisations as to the manner in which honour crimes should be defined, treated and policed? If so what were those representations. If any representations were made by public authorities please supply those representations by reference to the relevant authority. 4. Children missing from school 4.1 Does your force keep records of how many children under the age of 16 are missing from school despite being registered with a school? 4.2 How many children have been reported to your force as missing from school registers in your force area and for what period of time? 4.2 What is the breakdown of children missing by reference to age, sex, religion, ethnicity or other indicator
Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS to locate information relevant to your request. 
EXTENT OF SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION 
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted at Territorial Policing, Cummunity Safety Unit. 
RESULT OF SEARCHES AND DECISION 
For ease of disclosure, please see the answers below to each question. 
1. Honour crimes 
1.1 By way of definition “honour crimes” are murders or other crimes of violence committed by families or those close to or employed by those family members against other family members who are believed to have brought “shame” on the family/family name. The “shame” could be caused by the victim refusing, for example, to enter into an arranged marriage or for having a relationship that the family considers to be inappropriate. Some victims are driven to suicide from the pressure of their families. 
Answer 
No question asked. 
2. Children missing from school registers. 
The purpose of this request is to obtain information from you as to the numbers of children that appear to have been removed from school without lawful reason 
Answer 
The information is not held by the MPS. Please approach your local education authority. 
3. Honour Killings 
3.1 Does your force keep a record or records of honour crimes or attempted/ threatened honour crime? Does your force recognise honour crime as an issue? 
Answer 
The MPS recognises Honour Based Violence and works to the following definition: Honour Based Violence is a crime or incident that has been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and / or community. I am unable to provide precise details as to the quantity of HBV cases investigated in the MPS as they are currently not flagged.  All incidents of HBV are appropriately recorded on MPS IT assets in line with the MPS’ wider Domestic Violence policy. 
3.2 Does your force have a record of honour crime for any period in the past five years? If so please provide figures of:- 
3.2.1 Investigated honour crimes, by reference to offence committed. 
3.2.2 Investigated honour crimes referred to Crown Prosecution Service. 
Answer 
Please refer to the answer above. 
3.2.3 Honour crimes brought to trial, 
3.2.3.1 resulting in a guilty verdict 
3.2.3.2 resulting in a not-guilty verdict or some other outcome 
Answer 
The Crown Prosecution Service will keep this data and I would advise you to contact them 
3.2.7 Any breakdown of 3.2 and or 3.2.1 – 3.2.3(1) -(2) by reference to age, sex, religion, ethnicity or other indicator. 
Answer 
Please refer you to the answer at question 3 above 
3.3 Does your force have any officers or units dedicated to investigating honour killings? 
Answer 
The MPS’ Specialist Crime Directorate, regardless of the motivating factor, investigates all homicides, bar terrorism. 
3.4 What manpower and resources are allocated to the investigation of honour killings? 
Answer 
This is wholly dependant on each individual case but as in any murder investigation substantial resources are invested to identifying suspects and in establishing a prima facia case to present to a court of law. 
3.5 Do you provide assistance with and/or facilities to (whether in connection with any third party, agency, local authority etc) those who have reported or have been the victim of an honour crime? By way of example safe housing and police protection. 
Answer 
The MPS do provide considerable assistance and support to victims of Honour Based Violence.  The MPS has clear guidelines as to what is expected of officers investigating HBV crimes.  This will include victim support, risk management, partnership working and evidence gathering. Generally there are two units that will investigate HBV incidents and offences: the Child Abuse Investigating Command where the victim is under 18 and certain other criteria applies or the Community Safety Unit which utilises the skills of specialist investigating officers who have had HBV training. 
3.6 Have any of your officers, employees or agents been investigated in connection with the supply of information to third parties revealing or  tending to reveal the identity of or location of any person afforded  protection under 3.5 or otherwise providing information tending to compromise any protection afforded. 
Answer 
I am unaware of any such incidents but would like to assure you that all our high-risk HBV investigations are restricted therefore limiting who can have access to the data.  Also all MPS IT assets can be interrogated to establish who has viewed them. 
3.7 Have you investigated any employees of departments of state or state agencies or local council or in connection with the revelation of information pertaining to the matters referred to in 3.5. 
Answer 
I am aware anecdotally of cases where employees from other agencies have used their position to obtain information that may prove useful to an HBV victim’s family. 
3.6  Have you received any representations from third party organisations as to the manner in which honour crimes should be defined, treated and policed? If so what were those representations. If any representations were made by public authorities please supply those representations by reference to the relevant authority. 
Answer 
The MPS works closely with strategic partners, both statutory and voluntary, in progressing the issues and understanding of HBV. 
4. Children missing from school 
4.1 Does your force keep records of how many children under the age of 16 are missing from school despite being registered with a school? 
Answer 
No, again you would need to contact educational services.  The MPS will keep records of missing children if reported to us.  However there is not a requirement in law to report a child who is missing from school to report to police. 
4.2 How many children have been reported to your force as missing from school registers in your force area and for what period of time? 
Answer. 
Please see answer as per Question 4 above 
4.2 What is the breakdown of children missing by reference to age, sex, religion, ethnicity or other indicator 
Answer 
Please see answer as per stated above 
4.3 Does your force have any officers or units dedicated to investigating honour killings? 
Answer 
Please see answer as per Question 3.5 above 
4.4 What manpower and resources are allocated to the investigation of honour      killings? 
Answer 
Please see answer as per Question 3.4 above 
4.5 Have representations been made to your force about the investigation of this issue by members of local government. If so what was the substance of those investigations? 
Answer 
I am unaware of any such representations. 
End. 
Violent Crime Directorate 
Community safety Unit 
Rm 3.35, TPHQ 
Victoria Embankment, 
London 
SW1A 2JW 
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