Police target 'high risk' flights in fight against FGM

Mandatory medical examinations to identify female genital mutilation victims may have to be considered in the UK, Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said. His comments came as an operation was launched at airports to identify possible victims.

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GP: A lot of girls don't know FGM is against the law

GP Phoebe Abe, who has worked with 56 patients who have been victims of Female Genital Mutilation, says real change will only come when awareness that the practise is illegal is increased throughout afflicted communities.

Dr Abe said it was important to highlight that FGM is a criminal offence, and punishable.

Read: Police target 'high risk' flights in fight against fight against Female Genital Mutilation

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Met Police chief: FGM campaign warns people of law

The Metropolitan Police chief said a campaign launched to identify possible victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) "warns" people of the law.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "They have an option to stop - the fact they bought a ticket to me is irrelevant.

"They should not be committing a serious attack on a child and they should not be breaking the law."

Read: Met Police chief urges referrals for FGM victims

Female genital mutilation 'won't be tolerated in the UK'

Head of the Met Police's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said female genital mutilation (FGM) "will not be tolerated in the United Kingdom".

Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Niven said:

FGM is an abhorrent offence which includes violent assaults upon children.

It's really important to educate people who engage in this practice so they are aware that this is not a legitimate way to bring children up.

This is child abuse ... and people will be prosecuted if we find evidence of this.

Read: Met Police chief urges referrals for FGM victims

Police target flights to and from 'high risk' countries

Police launched an operation this week at airports across the UK targeting flights to and from countries known to carry out female genital mutilation (FGM).

The joint-force Operation Limelight includes officers at Heathrow Airport speaking with passengers on 13 outbound flights to "high risk" countries.

An airport departures board.
Police launched Operation Limelight at airports across the UK this week. Credit: ITV News

Passengers were warned that FGM is illegal in the UK and if caught, offenders face a large fine and a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Flights to Heathrow from Nigeria and Sierra Leone were also targeted as officers sought to identify children subjected to FGM and anyone who may have arranged the procedure.

Read: Met Police chief urges referrals for FGM victims

Met chief urges referrals for genital mutilation victims

Mandatory medical examinations to identify victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) may have to be considered in the UK, the Metropolitan Police chief has said.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said there have been a lack of referrals from schools and medical professionals about girls who had undergone the procedure, as an operation was launched at airports to identify possible victims.

A person holds razor blades.
Female genital mutilation is an abuse of human rights classified as torture by the United Nations. Credit: Reuters

An estimated 66,000 women in the UK have undergone FGM and more than 20,000 girls under 15 are thought to be at risk of the practice, which is classed as torture by the UN.

The first UK prosecution for alleged FGM began earlier this year, while there have reportedly been 100 FGM-related convictions in France.

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