Forced Marriage Awareness

Safeguarding Children Board

 

 

 

The Government describes Forced Marriage as:

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

FM Summer Campaign

School holidays are a peak time for young people to be taken overseas and forced into marriage against their will.

 

The Force Marriage Unit Statistics from 2016 show they provided support to:

  • 371 cases (26%) involved victims below 18 years of age
  • 497 cases (34%) involved victims aged 18-25.

In 2016, the majority of cases 1,145 (80%) involved women victims, while 283 cases (20%) involved male victims.

This isn’t a London, Manchester, Birmingham problem, it is happening right here on our doorstep, in Suffolk.

The Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) uses Social Media to highlight issues. You can Follow them on Twitter at @FMU or on Facebook.

What is Forced Marriage?

Forced Marriage ImageThis is when a person faces physical pressure to marry (threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (made to feel like you’re bringing shame on the family).  Forced marriage also has links to other forms of abuse such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Honour Based Violence (HBV).  These are crimes or incidents, which have or might have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.

A person has the right to choose who they marry, when they marry, or if they marry at all. Victims of forced marriage commented:

“I didn’t want to get married, but felt pressure from my family”

“My mum said her health wasn’t good and she wanted to see me married – so I did it!”

“Don’t want to get married, but I’ll do it anyway, that is what my family want and its part of my culture & tradition”

“I want to marry my boyfriend/girlfriend, not one of my cousins or a stranger”

Television feature on Forced Marriage

Look East Mariam IssimdarBBC Look East reporter, Mariam Issimdar talked to one woman who went into hiding to escape being forced into marriage and who is still in hiding after 7 years. Mariam also interviewed Aneeta Prem from Freedom Charity and Bal Howard who leads on Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence for Suffolk Police, whilst they were visiting a School in Bury St Edmunds to deliver forced marriage awareness sessions to young people at the school.

The film quoted that number of recorded forced marriage cases in East Anglia appears to be rising according to new government figures. Nationally in 2012 there were 1485 forced marriages cases, of which 29 were investigated in the region.  However in 2013 the national figure decreased to 1302, but the numbers in the East rose to 45.

Bal Howard mentioned in the interview that the increase in the East could possibly be due to the amount of work carried out in the East which may have led to increased reporting. Of the 50 cases Bal investigated last year, 50% were concerning forced marriage and 30% of those cases the victim was under 18.  Several of these cases have shown that it is sometimes a young male adult or brother, rather than the parents, that’s involved in forcing marriages.

Bal also talked about the seriousness of this issue (which in many cases is child abuse), many would have led to rape, and in extreme cases murder.  “This could be the tip of the iceberg and fears that the true numbers are in the thousands.”

Guidance for local authorities and relevant third parties:

What should teachers look out for?

Have you noticed me missingWho hasn’t come back to school after the summer holidays?  The loud lad in the class, what happened to him, why has he gone quiet?  Is a pupil in your school missing from education?  Where are they? What happened to them?

Did they say that grandparents were ill? Or did they say it was a cousins wedding?  Or did they say it was a cultural visit?

Is there is a drop in their performance and motivation or unexplained health problems (could possibly be a sign of child abuse).

Other signs could be that they are not allowed to do after school activities, not allowed westernised clothes/make-up/friends, terminology used by the young person like “I had an arranged marriage, I chose to go through with it”.

The young person may also start to truant from school (their only bit of freedom) and if you suspect this could be a result of force marriage, or any other kind of abuse, DO NOT send a letter home to the parents, this might put the young person at greater risk.  The young person may also stop taking part in physical education,  always being brought and taken from school by a family member. Someone may be watching them (like their siblings or cousins) during school time or they could be in a “secret relationship” which they have to hide from family members.  They may also own a ‘secret’ mobile phone.

In Suffolk if teachers and support staff suspect there could be a case of potential Forced Marriage then follow the Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures. More information is available from Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board.

A child at risk of forced marriage may also be at risk of honour based violence. Extreme caution should be taken in sharing information especially if honour based violence is suspected.

If you have concerns that a child is at risk contact a Social Care Manager at Children & Young Peoples Services via:

Office Hours call Customer First 0808 800 4005
Out of Hours Emergency Duty Service 0808 800 4005
Suffolk Constabulary Force Operations 01473 613500 (24hrs)
In an Emergency always call 999

If you have concerns that an adult is at risk contact Adult and Community Services:

Office hours call Customer First 0808 800 4005
Out of Hours Emergency Duty Service 01473 299669
Adult Safeguarding Team Online Referral Form
Suffolk Constabulary Force Operations Room 01473 613500 (24hrs)
In an Emergency always call 999 

What should I do if I have concerns?

Everyone has the right to choose who they marry and when they get married. If you are worried about a friend, relative or young person that you work with, here are 10 signs to watch out for:

FM At Risk Check List

If you or someone you know are thinking about or are taking the brave decision to leave a forced marriage, this Survivor’s Handbook will give you useful and practical information to help you take control of your life and focus on the future.

General Advice and Information:

If you, or someone you know, would like to speak to someone about forced marriage or female genital mutilation, then contact Bal Howard, Suffolk Police’s dedicated Honour Based Abuse Projects Officer.  Bal has a wealth of experience and is able to offer advice and expert knowledge to front line practitioners in these sensitive cases. Contact her on Suffolk Police on 101.

IN AN EMERGENCY ALWAYS CALL 999

There are various organisations providing a network of domestic abuse support and advice in Suffolk.  There are also other organisations around the UK providing information, detailed below:

Details of National Support Groups:

FreedomCharityFreedom Charity
Celebrates the UK‘s cultural diversity and all the traditions that these bring – but it makes a clear distinction between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage.
Call 0845 607 0133 or text “4freedom” 88802

Childline LogoChildLine
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything – no problem is too big or too small. Call free on 0800 1111

Southall Black SistersSouthall Black Sisters
A not-for-profit organisation set up in 1979 to meet the needs of black (Asian and African-Caribbean) and minority ethnic women.      Helpline 0208 571 0800
General Enquiries  0208 571 9595

Newham Asian Womens ProjectNewham Asian Women’s Project
This project is a woman only organisation and charity working to end violence against women and girls.
Telephone 0208 472 0528

Karma NirvanaKarma Nirvana
They have one clear aim: to stop the scandal of forced marriage and honour-based violence. No apologies.No excuses.No backing down. Honour Network Helpline 0800 599 9247

The Kiran ProjectThe Kiran Project
A project set up in 1990 to meet the needs of women from the Indian sub-continent experiencing domestic violence.
Telephone  0208 558 1986

Forced Marriage UnitForced Marriage Unit
The Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), contact them if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into.
Email: fmu@fco.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 1500 (ask for the Global Response Centre)

Marine Safety and Security

When the weather is fine many people enjoy spending time on our beautiful rivers, lakes or on the coast.  However if you own a vessel, have you taken measures to secure it when it’s not in use?

Marine Crime

Here are a few ways in which you can make your boat and equipment more secure and safe:

Boat Shield

  • To help stamp out boat crime Suffolk and Norfolk Police have also joined forces with local boatyards, chandlers, clubs and groups and launched BoatShield. If you are a boat owner, look out for BoatShield information point within boatyards, chandlers, as well as at boating clubs and groups across the Waveney Area.
  • If you are unlucky enough to have a boat or equipment stolen, you can register  the theft with StolenBoats.org.uk. Contact your local Police or Insurers and ask that they add the item on your behalf. StolenBoats is an online database, all the information is provided by the marine Insurance industry and the Police and is cross-checked with the Police National Computer.

Fire Safety on BoatsEvery year during Boat Fire Safety Week (May/June), safety on boats and fire safety in particular, is highlighted all week.  Whilst a fire is unlikely on a boat that is well maintained, boaters can be caught unawares or put in a difficult situation, if a fire does occur.

Download this leaflet for tips and advice on how to protect your boat and crew from fire, and what to do should a fire break out.

  • Suffolk Fire and Rescue also has lots of fire prevention Suffolk Fire Boat Safety image
    information including advice about fire on boats

  • Each year boaters die or are made seriously ill from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – Boats are built to keep water out, but this also makes them good containers for gases and fumes.  Here is some advice on how to protect everyone on your boat against this ‘silent killer’.
  • Breathing in a space filled with toxic fumes and smoke is like Carbon Monoxide Warning posterdrowning out of the water. Two breaths and you could be unconscious. Fit smoke alarms if you stay aboard your boat.

Below are more tips to help keep you, your boat and your property safe:

  • Wearing life jackets, the RYA has recommendations.
  • Respect the water, is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. It highlights the risks, helps you avoid them and gives advice to keep you and those around you safe
  • RLSS has advice on what to do if you spot someone in trouble in the water
  • Keep your boat keys separate from your engine keys
  • Don’t leave your keys in the ignition – always take them with you
  • Always keep your boat locked when no-one is on board
  • Never leave anything valuable on display
  • Don’t leave anything loose in the cockpit or on deck
  • Use strong padlocks or rim locks on all your hatches, entry points and cockpit lockers
  • Keep a list of all the serial numbers on valuables and property mark them with your home postcode and register them on Immobilise.
  • Register all electrical appliances and regularly check witboat-fire1h Suffolk Trading Standards for all product recalls. A recent boat fire shows what can happen if you don’t know that a product you have on board has been recalled.
  • Remember to review and improve the security on your boat regularly. Locks will need replacing as well as property marking your valuables
  • Remove outboards during winter months

The RNLI and the Boat Safety Scheme also have lots of helpful and useful safety and sailing advice and information.

And remember, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid at all times
whilst on the boat or near the water’s edge

Darker Nights – Protect your property and valuables

When the clocks go back on Sunday 30 October 2016, residents are encouraged to ‘switch on’ to some simple crime prevention tactics. This is also the time of year when there is the possibility of lots of people going out and enjoying Halloween/Firework Parties.

Lights on Timers

Dark Nights

As darkness now descends earlier in the day we want to help people ensure that they don’t advertise that their homes are open to thieves by leaving their home in darkness or leave their property and valuables unsecured.

Leaving your house in total darkness is a sure sign no-one’s at home and an invitation to burglars.  Burglars look for quick win opportunities; they don’t want to run the risk of a confrontation so simply leaving a light on to give the impression someone is at home is often enough to deter them.

Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days.  Leaving a light on costs literally pence in electricity – and that pales into insignificance compared to the hundreds of pounds in insurance excess you might have to pay should your home be broken into.  A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial.  Other home security essentials are to use your burglar alarm if you have one – it’s amazing how many households don’t bother – and also to never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot.  Burglars will always look there first so it’s not much of a ‘hiding place’.

Security 

Suffolk Police advise most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves who will search a neighbourhood for homes that look empty or dark, with access to back gardens. They also look out for windows that have been left open and unlocked doors.

By following a few simple steps, you can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Crime Prevention Advice and Home Security should contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.

101 is the number to call when you want to contact Suffolk Police when it’s less urgent, however in an emergency always call 999.

There are a number of other celebrations at this time of the year too.

Diwali (also known as the Festival of Lights) is one such celebration. Diwali is a Diwali Picturereligious festival including Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths which begins on Wednesday 11 November and continues for 5 days until Sunday 15 November.  This brings an opportunity for houses and businesses to be renovated and decorated and is also a time of much celebration with feasts. Diwali is also a time when fireworks are permitted until 1am the next day

There are visits to family and friends houses and women often dress in luxurious silks and this is also when gifts of gold jewellery are often exchanged and worn. Unfortunately this is also a time when there is the potential for a significant increase in families having gold and other jewellery in their houses, and in their possession, which could lead to an increase in the offences whereby Asian gold is targeted.

ipswich-and-suffolk-indian-assoc

Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association (ISIA) can provide more information about Diwali and other celebrations

In the past Police Forces nationally have experienced an increase of jewellery thefts during this period.  In particular, some Asian communities are often hit harder by thefts as their jewellery is often made of purer gold which has a higher value.  Hampshire Police have helpfully produced some essential messages in a range of languages, these are linked below:

Asian Gold Thefts

  • Gold Burglary LeafletEnglish 
  • Gold Burglary LeafletHindi
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Bengali
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Punjabi
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Urdu
  • Gold Burglary Leaflet – Nepalese

 

 

Staying Safe at Outside Events

Watching your favourite singer or band from the comfort of your armchair is great, but there’s nothing like being there live on the day. Tickets to big entertainment and sporting events sell out very quickly, which is very disappointing when you’ve really been looking forward to the big day.

This can make it very tempting to buy them from sources other than official websites. If your ticket is found not to be genuine you will be refused entry.  Here is some advice about purchasing tickets from Get Safe Online.

There are a number of great music events and festivals taking place in and around Suffolk in 2016, you may also be travelling out of County to events too.  We would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to think about your personal and property safety at these events, so in partnership with Suffolk Police, we have produced the ‘staying safe’ messages below. This information is also relevant for any/all large events.

Some of the events you may be planning on attending during August may include:

Audience Shot

Consider your own personal safety

Arrange a meeting point and agree a time in case you get separated from your friends. Drink too much and you’re likely to feel disorientated.  You can’t always rely on mobile phones, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t run your battery down completely. Some larger festivals may have recharging points.

  • Stick with friends and if you are camping, don’t go back to your tent alone
  • Enjoy the Festival/Event, but look after yourself and your friends
  • Keep hydrated and wear suitable clothing, taking into consideration the weather forecast.

Moderate your alcohol consumption

The best way to avoid problems from alcohol is to stay within the recommended limits. So keep a count of what you are drinking. Recognise when you’re drinking too quickly. Sometimes you might just be thirsty rather than really wanting an alcoholic drink. Don’t ruin your enjoyment of the festival by overdoing it and if the festival goes on for more than one day, give your body a break from the booze on at least one of the days and avoid morning drinking altogether.

Under the influence of alcohol you are more likely to find yourself in a vulnerable situation

Look After Your Valuables

Concerts and Festivals are not hotbeds of crime, but thefts do happen. They are more likely to occur if you have had lots of alcohol and you may not be aware of what’s going on around you.

Camping 1

If you are planning on camping at any of these or future events, check out ROSPA’s safety advice.

Try not to bring valuables like mp3 players or jewellery with you.

  • Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket
  • Do not leave valuables in your tent
  • If you do leave things of value in your car put them out of sight in the boot and make sure you lock your vehicle

Report any suspicious persons to a member of security at the event or to the Camp site Assistance Team. There are usually a number of Festival and Town Pastors also in attendance at many of the larger events.  These are people who will help anyone who needs assistance.

Please take some time to consider your personal safety and remain vigilant so you don’t become a victim of theft or any other crime.

Most Importantly
Have a wonderful time and Stay Safe

Shed and Garage Security

Losing property from your shed or garage can be costly and inconvenient, but tools from the shed can also be used to break into your house, therefore good security is essential.

Get Sheducated
Please take a few moments to consider the security of your shed using the following points, or download this Shed and Garage Security leaflet :

  • Make sure that the shed/garage is in good condition.  If the building is in poor condition, even the best locks won’t protect what is inside.
  • Make sure that the screws are concealed on fittings and hinges.
  • Fit mesh or bars inside the windows or board them up if you don’t use them.
  • Padlocks should be at least 6cm/2.5inches wide, hardened steel and closed shackle.
  • Lock the doors – even when you are at home.
  • Lock large items together with a good quality lock (www.soldsecure.com) or attach to them a shed shackle or ground anchor (www.securedbydesign.com)
  • Get a battery powered alarm or upgrade the house alarm to include outbuildings.
  • If you have a garage with a side access as well as an up and over door, consider fitting padlocks to the runners of the up and over door to prevent it from being opened.
  • Consider extra security for the garage (www.securedbydesign.com)

Further Security Tips:

When thinking about security, the Met Police and other Police Forces have put together a number of helpful YouTube videos.  One in particular by the Met Police is specifically about shed security.

Lockit_CheckitSuffolk Police have an ongoing home security campaign ‘Close it – Lock it – Check it’.  By following their simple precautions, you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim of burglary. If you would like to speak to someone about home security contact your Local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

There are a number of ways to report incidents:

  • by using the Suffolk Police ‘report a crime’ webpage
  • by calling the Police 101 non emergency line
  • by reporting issues to Crimestoppers via their website
  • by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on:

Smaller Third Party Logo


Do not use the Police Non Emergency line in an emergency, or in a situation that requires an immediate police response

FOR THAT ALWAYS RING 999.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) What are the Signs?

NSPCC Every Childhood

Child Sexual Exploitation is defined by the NSPCC as a form of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.  Warning signs for sexual exploitation can be hard to identify and can be easily be mistaken for ‘normal’ teenage behaviour.  However, the signs to look out for include:

  • Young people involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
  • Young people hanging out with older people or anti-social groups or with other vulnerable peers, including others involved with CSE
  • Young people getting involved in gangs, gang fights and gang membership;
  • Having older boy or girlfriends
  • Having new things like clothes or mobile phones which they can’t or won’t explain
  • Having access to drugs or alcohol
  • Spending time at places of concern such as hotels or known brothels
  • Young people who don’t know where they are because they have been moved around the country
  • Young people that go missing from home, care or education

Smaller Third Party Logo
Crimestoppers
 is making a stance to demonstrate that child exploitation will not be tolerated. The independent charity is working to educate communities about the threat of CSE by highlighting the signs and explaining how the public can report if they think it’s happening to someone they know.Crimestoppers CSE Image

As Crimestoppers is an independent anonymous charity, they can provide a unique service by allowing those who are perhaps closer to the victims or offenders to report what they know, without any fear of being identified.

When you give information to Crimestoppers they will never asked you your name, no personal information is taken, calls are not recorded. They cannot trace your call or IP addresses of your computer or mobile device. You do not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. Crimestoppers are a safe alternative for those who do not wish to go to the Police. As such, they provide the police and other law enforcement with information which they might otherwise not have had access to.

The Crimestoppers Fearless brand also helps to engage young people through the use of the fearless.org website. Often young people don’t recognise the signs of being in a coercive relationship. The Fearless campaign aims to help young people to identify the signs of potential exploitation, and give them a means to report what is happening.

Suffolk Police are taking steps to raise awareness of CSE, and Crimestoppers can provide the strong call to action for those who are fearful of reporting it to the relevant authorities. In the case of young people, if they feel uncomfortable about discussing these issues with a teacher, parent or other adult, Fearless provides them with another option.

Crimestoppers is working with Suffolk Police to target parents, teachers, youth workers and young people themselves, to raise awareness across the Suffolk of the signs of CSE. It will raise public awareness and understanding of the signs to look out for. Leaflets and other marketing materials will be distributed across Suffolk to support this campaign.

Flyer ImageHere are some Crimestoppers CSE flyers which you can download to display and distribute.

If you are concerned that a young person may be subject to CSE, please contact the police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  The NSPCC also run a helpline on 0800 800 5000.

 

Mobile Phone and Tablet Security

Apps for Tracking Smart Phones and Tablets

Extra security is available for smart phones and tablets by installing a tracking application. These ‘apps’ are available from your device’s application store and can help you locate lost phones/tablets or help police recover stolen devices using its GPS signal.

Make sure your device is locked when not in use as tracking apps can be Find My Phonedeactivated by thieves if the device is not locked.

Popular free phone and tablet tracking apps include:

Many other security applications are available from your device’s application store.

Register Serial Numbers

Suffolk Police has joined forces with the online property database Immobilise to help keep property safe and reunite stolen items with their rightful owners across the county.

Many items of identifiable property are either lost or stolen each year. By taking the time to register property on the Immobilise database, people can take a positive step towards reducing the crime.

Immobilise Logo

Registered property would be identifiable to all law enforcement agencies across the country. This in turn will help the police reunite property to their lawful owners and will also help to catch criminals.

Almost any possession with a serial number can be registered for free, including:

  • Mobile phones
  • iPods, other MP3 players and games consoles
  • Laptops, computers and PDAs
  • Satellite navigation and in-car equipment
  • Bicycles.

Watches, jewellery, art and antiques can also be registered for a small fee. Users who upgrade can also add photos and certificates of ownership to their account.

Many items of property which are recovered from criminals are not restored to their rightful owners, as without information on serial numbers or property marking police do not know who they belong to.

If you would like register your valuables visit www.immobilise.com

For more information about Home and Personal Security visit Suffolk Police’s website.