Eleven arrested during domestic violence and hate crime raids

Eleven arrests were made in Tower Hamlets last week as over 20 police officers raided 17 homes across the borough.

Eleven arrests were made in Tower Hamlets as over 20 police raided 17 homes across the borough.

The raids were part of a London-wide operation last week which saw 174 people suspected of domestic violence or a range of hate crimes arrested across the capital.

For the first time, The Met’s Operation Athena, which is carried out twice a year, focused on forced marriages and honour based violence.

Tower Hamlets, according to Met figures, has the fifth highest number of incidents relating to forced marriages and honour based violence among the 33 London boroughs. Tower Hamlets last year saw 22 such incidents. Newham with 36 had the most such incidents, followed by Waltham Forest with 25.

The operation coincided with the beginning of the school summer holidays when the Met sees a peek in incidents relating to forced marriages and honour based violence. June saw an average of 80 such offences between 2006 and 2010. The next highest were recorded in March where the average was 67 offences.

Detective Sergeant Ross Morrell, who was in charge of yesterday’s operation, said the incidents in Tower Hamlets relate mostly to fear of violence being carried out. He explained: “It can be threats to young girls of being removed from college or sent back to the country their family originated from.”

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He said there had been no recent reports of honour based violence actually being carried out in Tower Hamlets, but stressed that the vast majority of incidents go unreported.

The majority of arrests made in Tower Hamlets, during the Athena operation, involved domestic abuse and were not related to honour based violence or forced marriages. The other arrests were for racial offences.

Det Sgt Ross Morrell, whose community safety unit is based at Limehouse Police Station, said: “The incidents of domestic violence ranged from a man arrested for stabbing his wife in the leg with a kitchen knife to arguments where punches were thrown, and verbal abuse and threats by partners or ex-partners.”

Anyone affected can reach the Tower Hamlets Community Safety unit on 020 7275 4779. Anyone in fear of their life should dial 999.

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