by Daily Mail Reporter, Sep. 23, 2009

Hundreds of attacks are to be treated as ‘honour’ crimes in a new drive by police to prosecute more offenders.

Prosecutors hope the drive will also ensure that victims receive more rapid protection that can save them from possible further violence or a forced marriage.

Under the new guidance it will be assumed that an honour crime has been committed in any case in which there is the slightest sign that such an offence has taken place – even if the victim has not reported it.

Elements of the strategy are designed to ensure that potentially vital evidence of honour-based persecution is not overlooked.

It will include information for police and prosecutors on how to identify male victims amid concern that at least 15 per cent of cases involve attacks or forced marriage inflicted on men.

The horrific consequences of honour violence were highlighted by an attack in Leytonstone in July in which a 24-year-old Danish man of Asian origin had acid poured down his throat and was repeatedly stabbed because of his relationship with a Muslim woman.

In January 2006 Banaz Mahmod was killed after falling in love with a man her family did not want her to marry.

The 20-year-old, who had left an arranged marriage and started a relationship with Rhamat Sulemani, 29, was strangled with a bootlace at her home in Surrey in January 2006.

Her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and uncle Ari Mahmod, 50, of Mitcham, were convicted of the killing.

The pair decided she must pay “the ultimate price” for bringing shame on them.

Ms Mahmod had made a series of complaints to police and agreed to press charges a day before she was killed.

(Read more)