Communities across Derbyshire are being urged by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa to unite in tackling the continuing crime of female genital mutilation (FGM) on vulnerable young girls and women.
His plea came in the wake of a high profile summit in London this week aimed at promoting global action on this crime and on childhood forced marriage.
Mr Dhindsa commented today (Wednesday 23 July): “For too long FGM has gone undetected, and this needs to change. I wholeheartedly welcome the refocus on this abuse of young girls and women, and hope that plans made as a result of the summit can help Derbyshire, along with the rest of the country, to tackle and eradicate this unlawful behaviour and keep the vulnerable safe.”
The Deputy Commissioner now wants to arrange a programme of community engagement talks to highlight both the crime and the law to enable prosecution and prevention of FGM in this country, and also to prevent young girls from being taken abroad to be cut.
He explained: “It’s so important to encourage those communities and groups who are most vulnerable, and also those agencies who are at the forefront of detection, to report this crime. I particularly want to impress upon health professionals how vital it is to report it – especially midwives, health visitors and GPs.”
At the London summit Prime Minister David Cameron said FGM and childhood forced marriage should be stopped and outlawed “everywhere for everyone within this generation.” The summit was hosted by the UK government and children’s charity UNICEF.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who told the conference that FGM is happening to millions of women and girls around the world every year, announced a £1.4m prevention programme which will give survivors anonymity in UK court cases and enable improved police response times.
Mr Dhindsa commented: “Although FGM has been illegal in the UK for nearly 30 years, the first prosecutions were only brought this year. Now is therefore the time for us all to use this law to its full effect and protect so many vulnerable people whose safety depends on our determination to bring these crimes to an end.”
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Posted on Wednesday 23rd July 2014