Woman arrested at Heathrow for conspiring to commit FGM - Crime - UK - The Independent

 

Woman arrested at Heathrow for conspiring to commit FGM

A 38-year-old woman has been arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation as a result of a police operation mounted at airports across the country during the past week, Scotland Yard announced today. The arrest took place at 6.30pm on Thursday, after officers had swooped on dozens of passengers arriving in London on flights from Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

In a statement, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “The British national was held after arriving on a flight from Sierra Leone and taken to a west London police station where she remains in custody. A 13-year-old Sierra-Leonian girl travelling with the woman was taken into the care of social services.” They added: “A Nigerian female was also taken into the care of social services as a potential victim of trafficking. Her age has yet to be established. An investigation is ongoing by Border Force but is not related to FGM offences.”

The week-long crackdown against FGM, dubbed Operation Limelight, involved seven police forces, the Border Force and the National Crime Agency. Officers targeted flights to ‘countries of prevalence’ such as Somalia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They had been briefed to look out for young girls returning from FGM ceremonies dressed like ‘mini divas’ in heels and make up. Passengers were warned that FGM is illegal in Britain and carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years. Some had their bags searched or were questioned in a bid to find victims of the practice.

There have been more than 60,000 victims of FGM in Britain, according to campaigners. Yet just 11 cases have been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Metropolitan Police since 2010. “We're not getting an awful lot of referrals from the community, from medical professionals or from educational professionals. We need those because without that we can't start an investigation,” said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe yesterday. Forcing girls to have medical examinations to check for evidence of FGM is “one of the things I think probably the Government is going to have to consider at some point,” he added.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week