Forced marriage ‘to be a crime’

 

Forced marriages are to become a criminal offence under plans to be unveiled by Theresa May this week.

The Home Secretary will launch a consultation on creating a specific offence of forcing someone into a marriage against their will. In 2010, the Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 1,735 possible cases of forced marriage, although the number of cases is thought to be significantly under-reported. A new law in Scotland allows courts to issue protection orders specifically tailored to the needs of the victim, with a breach of an order a criminal offence. David Cameron has called forced marriage "little more than slavery".

In a separate move, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will promise tougher laws to tackle domestic violence, including changing the law to cover under-18s.