South Yorkshire Police arrest two on suspicion of facilitating female genital mutilation
South Yorkshire Police have arrested two people on suspicion of facilitating female genital mutilation (FGM).
The arrests came after a woman attended a police station in Rotherham and reported she had been subjected to the criminal offence elsewhere in the country.
Temporary detective sergeant Tom Bishop said: “This brave woman told specialist officers she had been the victim of female genital mutilation, which is a barbaric and violent crime.
“We know that FGM is often not spoken about or reported, so I commend this victim for taking the courageous step to come forward and speak to us about what happened.”
Following the report, two people – a 40-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman – have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating female genital mutilation. Both have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for FGM to be performed in the UK. It is also an offence for a UK national or UK resident to carry out FGM even outside the UK, or help and enable someone else to carry out FGM.
This applies even when the victim is taken to a country where this practice is legal. If convicted, the perpetrator can face up to 14 years in prison.
Detective sargeant Bishop added: “As today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the bravery of this victim and the swift, decisive action taken by our officers to arrest suspects.
“We are working closely with other agencies and forces in the UK as our investigation into this matter continues.
“I would urge anyone with concerns about FGM to contact police, please help us to protect women and girls from this awful crime and stop this cycle of abuse.”
Anyone wishing to report any concerns about FGM in South Yorkshire should contact 101.
Further information, advice and support is available by contacting the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550 or emailing [email protected] Alternatively, contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk, or visit the Daughters of Eve website at www.dofeve.org.