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

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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.