The National Black Police Association’s response to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) thematic inspection report, The depths of dishonour: Hidden voices and shameful crimes. An inspection of the police response to honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
HMIC has conducted a thematic inspection of the police response to honour-based violence (HBV), forced marriage (FM) and female genital mutilation (FGM). This inspection followed the ‘victim’s journey’ from initial contact to closure of police involvement and sought to answer the question: “How effective is the police service at protecting people from harm caused by HBV, FM and FGM, and at supporting victims of these offences?” The report can be viewed via this link: HMIC HBV report – The depths of dishonour
NBPA Vice President Franstine Jones, says “The HMIC inspections/report has long been overdue since the initial ACPO Honour Based Violence (HBV) Strategy released in September 2008.
It is evident that some forces have taken Honour Based Abuse cases/victims more seriously than others, this is due to the commitment and drive of certain individuals within each Police Force area. There are still gaps in the service that needs to be delivered. They are:-
– Lack of dedicated/specialised teams to handle these cases in some areas
– Lack of work within communities in most areas
– Lack of training and understanding the complexity by front line officers
There has been lack of commitment from senior leadership team at ACPO level as the original HBV Strategy has not been reviewed.
In comparison to the HMIC Domestic Abuse inspection in 2014 all 43 police forces were inspected and it is disappointing that only 8 Forces were inspected in Phase II out of the 43 (this itself shows lack of commitment by HMIC) and it is quite worrying that only 3 (2 of which were inspected during Phase II – Northumbria & West Midlands) are prepared to handle the complex cases of HBV, Forced Marriage & Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This inspection does not give a clear view on how prepared each force actually performs.
Although police forces have moved forward in relation to Domestic Abuse it has still taken police forces 20 to 30 years to get to a position of where they are today and they still don’t always get it right. Forces have come along with the complex issues surrounding Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and FGM and are at the starting line, however, much work still needs to be done with clear leadership from senior management.”
Franstine Jones – NBPA Vice President.