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Swedish police agencies lack knowledge about honor crimes

Taskforce to aid police with honor crimes

Published torsdag 9 augusti 2012 kl 18.08
Photo: 10 yeras ago Fadime Sahindal was killed by her own father because she wanted to choose her own husband. Photo: Lars Pehrson/Scanpix

Starting this autumn Swedish police will be able to call on a group of experts to help them with cases suspected of being honour-related, Swedish Television reports.

The National Police Board decided that the expert group will be available 24 hours a day to help police with their investigations.

An honor killing is when someone, usually a girl or woman, is murdered by a family member because the victim is believed to have brought dishonor upon the family. The perceived dishonor can be prompted, for example, by a woman's desire to end an unhappy marriage or prevent an arranged marriage.

Too often police arrive on the scene of a crime and miss important details that are essential to an investigation of an honor crime. When they do discover the motive, it's too late.

"Often when we arrive on the scene of a crime the situation is very chaotic," Mattias Jönsson, a police officer in Malmö, told Swedish Television News.

He said police tend to focus on the incident or the abuse and do not ask themselves whether it is honour-related.

Soon police will be able to call on an expert in honor crimes any time of day. The group of experts will also help educate the country's 21 police agencies about honour crime.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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