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CPS and NPCC launch new honour-based violence/abuse and forced marriage protocol

Protocol is key component of CPS’s Action Plan

The Crown Prosecution Service and police have published the first ever joint honour-based violence/abuse and forced marriage protocol, outlining their commitment to the successful investigation and prosecution of these crimes. The protocol recognises the importance of strong partnership working between these two agencies.

The protocol highlights the unique complexities of these cases and the barriers victims face in coming forward to report.  For example, the potential that these crimes may be committed not only by family members but also by those who are part of the wider community.  Rather than families and communities protecting the victim, they will often protect the perpetrator.  The protocol emphasises the importance for multiagency working and engagement with specialist third sector organisations.

The CPS has led the development of this protocol, as part of a wider commitment to improve performance in this area. The protocol enables police and prosecutors to quickly understand the action they must take when a crime is reported to the police and referred to the CPS for a charging decision, ensuring the safety of the victim is at the heart of the process.

Jenny Hopkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England and lead on Violence against Women and Girls said:

"So-called honour-based violence/abuse and forced marriage is increasingly being committed online, usually by victims' families, extended families and communities. We know that offenders follow a course of conduct which is used to control, coerce, dominate or exploit a victim.

"It is important for police and prosecutors to remember that these cases may involve some of our most vulnerable victims and witnesses who may have the least confidence in the criminal justice process.

"In improving the criminal justice response to these crimes, this protocol is a key step."

The protocol highlights:

The protocol is said to be a key component of the Honour-Based Violence/Abuse and Forced Marriage Action Plan introduced by the CPS earlier this year.

The Action Plan also includes:

To read the protocol, click here.