"There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word,
which means more to me than any other.
That word is ENGLAND." - Sir Winston Churchill
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
A dad suspected of planing to take his 15-year-old daughter to Sudan for an illegal FGM procedure was arrested as he prepared to board a plane at Gatwick Airport.
The Birmingham man – a Sudanese national – was detained last month on suspicion of arranging for the teenager to travel to undergo female genital mutilation.
The 45-year-old was bailed with strict conditions until next month.
An order was put in place to protect the girl, and other vulnerable relatives, from being flown out of the country.
It also restricted his contact with the girl’s mother.
Birmingham is believed to have the highest rate of FGM cases outside London.
West Midlands Police is leading the way in the use of new protection orders to safeguard women and girls feared to be at risk of the barbaric practice.
Earlier this year, the force supported Birmingham City Council child services in seizing the passport of a 14-year-old girl thought to be in danger of being flown to Somalia by her mother for the procedure.
On September 1, 14 families were intercepted at Birmingham Airport on their way back from FGM-practising counties.
Two cases were forwarded to the force’s Public Protection Unit for further investigation.
The same school holiday operation last year saw officers target two flights and stop 11 families.
Concerns were raised for a girl of FIVE found travelling with a mother and 14-year-old sister who had both been subjected to historic FGM.
Charity Equality Now said it believed 16 in every 1,000 women in Birmingham had undergone the process, which involves the partial or complete removal of the female genitalia.
FGM crime expert Gill Squires said: “We’re dealing with more enquiries than ever before.
“In the first seven months of this year there were 70 cases in which FGM was thought to be a factor – usually where a girl has been identified as being at risk rather than having actually undergone the procedure.
“In 2012 we had just 25 reports in the whole year.
“We’re still trying to fully understand the prevalence of FGM in the West Midlands but we’re much better now at identifying potential victims.”
Over a seven-month period – from September 2014 to March of this year – 632 women and girls were seen in West Midlands hospitals for FGM-related treatment.