CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Honoured based violence calls to new Cambs hotline averaging 30 a month

PUBLISHED: 10:25 24 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:54 02 June 2010

Cambridgeshire ChiefConstable Julie Spence.

Cambridgeshire ChiefConstable Julie Spence.

A WOMAN from Cambridgeshire kidnapped abroad, locked up and assaulted because she refused an arranged marriage was one of the early callers to a new police helpline. Chief Constable Julie Spence said today the Cambs Police hotline has been averaging 30 ca

A WOMAN from Cambridgeshire kidnapped abroad, locked up and assaulted because she refused an arranged marriage was one of the early callers to a new police helpline.

Chief Constable Julie Spence said today the Cambs Police hotline has been averaging 30 calls a month since it launched last June to tackle honour based violence and forced marriage.

"It affects males, females and people of all ages," she said. "It cuts across a number of cultures and communities including Asian, African, South and east European."

Ms Spence, in a report to the police authority scrutiny and audit committee, said the hot-line had seen calls to Cambs Police rocket. Prior to the launch the force attracted only four calls per month.

Now, with a team of 18 staff, all of them female, the number of calls, mainly from victims, had risen.

"The calls have resulted in 61 cases, involving investigation and complex victim care," said Ms Spence.

"The type of calls received by the 'Choice' hotline varies and has included calls asking for advice, cases of kidnap and threats to kill. Staff have also worked with the forced marriage unit and recovered victims from foreign countries."

Using all female staff followed consultation with local communities "who, due to cultural beliefs, felt that callers would feel more confident and comfortable talking to a female".

Ms Spence said cases dealt with by Cambs Police included:

n contact from women as young as 14 fearful of being forced into marriage or wanting to escape a forced marriage but fearful of reprisals.

n a young female kept locked in the house to prevent her attending university as her parents felt she did not need further education as they had arranged a marriage for her

n friends calling to report disappearances when they fear a possible forced marriage


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