Po­lice vow to take a stand over fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion

PCC and force will work to­gether on the is­sue

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PO­LICE have vowed to crack down on the ‘bru­tal prac­tice’ of fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion (FGM).

Thames Val­ley Po­lice is work­ing to­gether with part­ners to stop FGM. The world marked the in­ter­na­tional day of zero tol­er­ance of FGM on Fri­day.

FGM is a prac­tice in­volv­ing the cut­ting, re­moval and dam­age of the fe­male gen­i­talia for sup­posed cul­tural, re­li­gious or any other non­med­i­cal rea­sons.

It can lead to a life­time of pain, ill-health and psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma for girls and women. That is why Thames Val­ley Po­lice and the po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner (PCC) for Thames Val­ley, An­thony Stans­feld, are work­ing with part­ner agen­cies to safe­guard the wel­fare of girls and women living in the UK.

The PCC has given £3,260 to the safe­guard­ing board for work­shops and seminars to gain greater un­der­stand­ing of FGM.

He has also writ­ten a let­ter of sup­port rec­om­mend­ing the work­shops to all schools, di­rec­tors of public health, hos­pi­tal trusts, com­mu­nity safety part­ner­ships and GPs.

Thames Val­ley Po­lice FGM lead De­tec­tive Chief In­spec­tor Katy Barrow-Grint said: “FGM is child abuse.

“It’s a crime and not be tol­er­ated.

“Thames Val­ley Po­lice, work­ing closely with part­ners such as chil­dren’s so­cial care, health, ed­u­ca­tion, and lo­cal safe­guard­ing boards, aims to pro­tect chil­dren from this hor­rific crime.”

Mr Stans­feld said: “Tack­ling FGM is one of my key pri­or­i­ties and I’m com­mit­ted to work­ing na­tion­ally and lo­cally with part­ners to not only raise aware­ness, but to sup­port vic­tims of FGM and safe­guard those at risk.

“I, along with our part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions, will

will do ev­ery­thing in our power to bring about the change that is nec­es­sary to stop this hor­rific crime and pro­tect chil­dren.”

Che­sham coun­cil­lor Noel Brown, who rep­re­sents Chiltern on the Thames Val­ley po­lice and crime panel, said: “It’s very con­cern­ing and it seems to be a wider prob­lem here than peo­ple think. Girls are be­ing taken abroad and there’s noth­ing we can do, it’s a tragedy. It’s some­thing that will af­fect them for the rest of their lives.”

Any­one with con­cerns about FGM can call Thames Val­ley Po­lice on 101 or Crimestop­pers, anony­mously, on 0800 555 111.

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