Female genital mutilation protection order issued for sisters in Sheffield aged one, four and six

Protection orders were granted at Sheffield's Family Court
Protection orders were granted at Sheffield's Family Court

A protection order has been issued for three sisters in Sheffield - aged one, four and six - deemed at risk of female genital mutilation.

Detectives from South Yorkshire Police's child abuse investigation and safeguarding department were granted the order for the three girls after they were identified as being at risk of being taken out of the country for the procedure.

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Under the order, police officers were able to seize the girls' passports to prevent them from being taken abroad.

Detectives were also granted a protection order for a 12-year-old girl, who was a victim of FGM a number of years ago.

The order allows officers to work with partners to ensure support and healthcare measures are in place for the young girl.

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Temporary Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson said: "Across the force we work with partners, community groups and public services to raise awareness of FGM and the harm it causes. This partnership collaboration is absolutely crucial in our work to prevent FGM and protect both victims and potential victims of this abuse.

"FGM causes both physical and psychological effects, and our priority is to keep victims safe, take all action to raise awareness and encourage reporting.

"It is often the case in many of these incidents, FGM has already occurred historically outside of the UK, therefore due this being outside of our jurisdiction we are unable to make arrests.

"Although we aren’t able to make arrests we instead work to safeguard victims from further harm and put measures in place to ensure girls born into families where FGM has occurred are not subject to this. We also work with our partners to make to anyone who sees this practice as a cultural norm, that this is a serious and violent crime and perpetrators could face up to 14-years imprisonment should they continue this practice either within the UK, or by taking girls abroad for FGM."

She added: "To help us achieve this it is vital anyone, whether that is teachers, health professionals or family members with concerns over the safety of children or women who are suspected as becoming, or having been the victim of FGM, reports it.

"There is support and help available for everyone and by reporting any concerns, it allows us to investigation and take the necessary action to protect members of our community.

"If you have any concerns or notice parents and carers requesting extended leave to countries where harmful cultural practices like forced marriages and FGM still continue, I would urge you to not be afraid to question it and report it.

"Honour based abuse of any kind is not acceptable and I’d like to offer my reassurance that we are committed to working to stop it."

To report concerns about forced marriage or FGM call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Support and information is also available from organisations including Ashiana on 0114 255 5740 and Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247.