Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 14:29 UK

Forced marriage inquiries triple

The number of calls about forced marriage has tripled in the past six months, police in Lancashire have said.

Trained officers, who usually deal with about six calls a month, say they are now taking over 30 calls from victims, concerned friends and relatives.

They said high-profile cases like the Blackburn woman jailed for keeping her daughters-in-law imprisoned in her home have encouraged people to come forward.

New national guidelines have called for more communication between agencies.

Det Ch Insp Justin Srivastava, who heads the domestic violence unit, said: "Recent success stories, such as the granting of the first forced marriage protection order in Lancashire, have given hope that there are solutions and victims will be protected to prevent an unwanted marriage.

"Our priority is the victim and making sure they are out of harm's way.

"It is absolutely critical we work together in partnership to ensure all victims of forced marriage receive sympathetic, effective and joined up support."

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