Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson, force lead for female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and honour based abuse (HBA) along with deputy lead, Detective Sergeant Tom Bishop, attended a national event in Birmingham to mark the day.
They met survivors of harmful cultural practices, witchcraft and FGM, as DI Jackson explains.
“As an organisation, we are committed to preventing this horrific crime occurring in the first place and supporting girls and women who have already endured this," she said.
“Last year saw a massive increase in the number of FGM protection orders obtained by ourselves. The court orders are a clear deterrent to potential perpetrators. They also ensure that girls who have already been subjected to FGM in their country of birth prior to arrival in the UK, receive they appropriate medical and psychological intervention.
“This was a result of intense training across departments within the force in HBA, including forced marriage and FGM.
“Never before has SYP had so many officers training in this specialist area of work, and the training continues.
“Increased awareness and knowledge of risk factors has enriched our response to these crimes so that victims and potential victims will receive the best support and protection and perpetrators will be arrested.
“Mutilation of girls is not just a harmful cultural practice, it is also a harmful criminal practice and needs to be recognised as such.
“I urge anyone with information about perpetrators of this crime, whether they intend committing it in the UK or abroad, to report it on 101, and in an emergency ring 999.
“Potential victims are usually too young to be aware of what may happen to them or that FGM is a serious and violent crime therefore it is so important that if you have any concerns, then please act on their behalf. You won’t just save one girl, you will save hundreds.”
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