Prosecutors in bid to prevent female genital mutilation
Friday 23 November 2012
People who commit female genital mutilation are more likely to face charges after prosecutors announced plans to address Britain’s dismal record at bringing perpetrators to justice.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) was made a criminal offence in Britain 27 years ago but there has never been a single successful prosecution.
Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, yesterday launched a plan he hopes will increase the number of referrals to police and prosecutors, and improve evidence gathering. His proposals include learning from countries such as France and Holland where people have been successfully prosecuted, and better analysis of failed cases from the UK. A steering group will consider whether a change in legislation is needed or whether existing laws could be better used.
Home Office figures suggest that 24,000 school-aged girls in Britain are at risk at any one time. The school holidays are considered the riskiest time for potential child victims in the UK as families have traditionally flown back to countries of origin where the FGM takes place.
The few midwives and doctors who run specialist clinics for women suffering the physical and psychological consequences of FGM see hundreds of women every year.
Yet the three cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service in the past two years never made it to court because of difficulties over evidence.
Mr Starmer said: “Everyone who can play a part in stopping FGM – from the doctor with a suspicion to the police officer investigating the initial complaint – needs to know what to do to improve detection rates, strengthen investigations and start getting these offenders into court. I am determined the CPS should play a key role in ensuring that the impunity with which these offenders have acted will end.”
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
Russian 'aggression' sees Poland rearm its military as minister warns: 'We must be ready'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go