03/12/2011 03:46 GMT | Updated 03/12/2011 14:10 GMT

Nearly 3,000 Honour Attacks In Britain Over The Last Year

New figures reveal that 2,823 'honour' attacks have been recorded by police in Britain over the past year alone, more than double the figures of 2009.

Across the country, eight police forces showed that they had all dealt with more than 100 such attacks, with the highest volume recorded in London and the West Midlands.

So-called 'honour' attacks are usually punishments for women who are seen to have brought shame on their family and often take the form of murder, abductions or beatings. The figures were obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro).

The 47% rise from 2009 is particularly shocking given that victims often suffer abuse before they seek help. Many victims are too afraid to come forwards to police, so the actual number could be much higher.

According to the charity the figures are a national estimate, with data taken from 39 out of 52 UK forces. The Metropolitan Police saw 495 incidents, followed by 378 in the West Midlands, 350 in West Yorkshire, 227 in Lancashire and 189 in Greater Manchester. Cleveland recorded 153, while Suffolk and Bedfordshire saw 118 and 117 respectively, according to the figures.

Ikwro director Diana Nammi told the BBC that families often deny the existence of the attacks:

"The perpetrators will be even considered as a hero within the community because he is the one defending the family and community's honour and reputation."

Honour killings came to national attention in 2006 when Banaz Mahmod from south London was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they disapproved of her boyfriend. They were jailed for her murder, along with Mahmod’s cousins.

A Home Office spokesman told the Daily Mail: 'We are determined to end honour violence and recognise the need for greater consistency on the ground to stop this indefensible practice.