The Home Affairs Select Committee has today released the 'female genital mutilation: abuse unchecked' report. Our national lead explains how police forces must work with health, education, social care, NGOs and the affected communities to eradicate FGM.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Honour-based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, Commander Mak Chishty:
“Female genital mutilation is a crime and is a severe form of child abuse, which has a devastating impact on women and girls.
“We are committed to safeguarding potential victims and preventing them from undergoing FGM. We will take proactive action to robustly investigate any allegations or suspicions and obtain FGM protection orders to help protect potential victims whilst building the strongest cases to refer to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“In a recent operation at major airports, the police spoke to nearly 5000 people travelling to countries where cutting is prevalent to explain the law and encourage them to seek help if they need it now or in the future. Two people were arrested and 33 children were referred to safeguarded services; whilst another child was taken into police protection as part of this operation.
“A criminal justice approach in isolation will not eradicate FGM; that can only be done with the police, health, education, social care, NGOs and the affected communities working together. We are committed to continuing and improving this joint approach that empowers affected communities to end FGM.
“I ask anyone with concerns about FGM or who has any information to share it with us; we will treat each individual case sensitively and confidentially.”