Police seize passports of four Sheffield girls at risk of female genital mutilation

Suzanne Bluck
Suzanne Bluck
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South Yorkshire Police have seized the passports of four girls they fear could be at risk of female genital mutilation in a bid to prevent them from being taken out of the UK.

Child Protection Orders were granted by a judge in Sheffield, allowing police officers to seize their passports to try to keep the at-risk girls in the country.

Authorities fear that if they are taken abroad they could be subjected to female genital mutilation, which is a common custom in come countries.

Police, council, health and social care officials were involved in the application for the order, which also ensures support and safeguarding measures are put in place.

It is the seventh time authorities have gone to court to safeguard children deemed at risk of female genital mutilation in South Yorkshire.

Detective Sergeant Suzanne Bluck, who was involved in presenting the case to the judge, said: “Our main responsibility is to keep victims safe from female genital mutilation and with the use of these orders we are able to enforce a further measure to achieve this.

“As well as enforcement we also work to raise awareness and knowledge of female genital mutilation to generate a better public understanding of this criminal offence, encourage reporting and highlight the support available to victims.

“These historic practices are still carried out in some cultures across the world and can cause devastating physical and psychological trauma to victims."

Protection orders were brought into effect in July 2015 and since then 94 have been granted nationally.