South Yorkshire Police protect Sheffield girls from female genital mutilation following court order
Two girls from Sheffield who risked being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) have been protected following a court order against the “barbaric and horrendous” practice.
South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield City Council have successfully applied to a Sheffield court for Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders (FGMPO) to safeguard both girls.
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for FGM to be performed in the UK. It is also an offence for a UK national or resident to carry out FGM outside the country, or help and enable someone else to carry it out.
This applies even when the victim is taken to a country where this practice is legal. If convicted, the perpetrator can face up to 14 years in prison.
FGMPOs provide specific rules to those subject to the order about their behaviour and conduct. They are designed to allow police and their partners to effectively safeguard vulnerable people.
Failure to comply with them is illegal and can result in a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Detective sergeant Tom Bishop said: “FGM is a serious and violent crime, which is often not spoken about or reported. We aim to safeguard vulnerable victims by using preventative measures such as FGMPOs, which can ensure that people are not subjected to such barbaric and horrendous crimes and from a lifetime of physical and psychological damage.
“Harmful cultural practices are sadly still continuing in countries where this is seen as normal. Parents are often faced with family and community pressure and isolation if they don’t comply with FGM, and mothers themselves may have been victims as children.
“Our aim is to intervene and ensure that this cycle of abuse does not continue.
“That way, we can work together to ensure children are safeguarded, parents are educated and sanctions are in place should the orders be disregarded.”
Anyone wishing to report any concerns about FGM in South Yorkshire should contact 101. You can also contact Sheffield City Council at www.sheffield.gov.uk or by calling 0114 2734567.