Nottinghamshire Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Cutland has welcomed new moves to make forced marriage a criminal offence.
Under proposals announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Government is including a new offence of forced marriage in its Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill. The move follows a consultation last year with a number of agencies and charities supporting victims of forced marriage. The legislation will also make breaching a forced marriage protection order a specific criminal offence.
Deputy Commissioner Cutland is the former Chief Executive of Women’s Aid and has devoted many years of her working life to supporting women who have been abused and challenge the Government to do more to support such vulnerable women.
Speaking of the changes, Deputy Commissioner Cutland said: “I am pleased the Government has recognised the severity of this situation and sought to offer vulnerable women greater legal protection.
“This legislation will bring much-needed attention to the issue of forced marriage and will pave the way for greater support services for victims. This is a largely hidden crime within our communities and I hope that with more legal support in place more victims will feel confident in coming forward and reporting their plight to the police.
“I’m pleased Nottinghamshire Police is already arming itself with the knowledge to deal with such situations sensitively and increased awareness will help officers to spot this crime when victims are too frightened to come forward.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 20th May 2013