Safety unit raises awareness of female genital mutilation on day dedicated to eradicating the crime

Library image.
Library image.

The International Day of zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is being supported by the Herts County Community Safety Unit.

Today’s international day aims to make the world aware of FGM and to promote its eradication. It is sponsored by the UN.

Messages will be placed on the Herts Police website and social media accounts.

The day of awareness follows a county–wide campaign launched at a conference Day at Hertfordshire Constabulary’s headquarters last June.

The conference raised awareness of FGM and although there are no ‘known’ cases in the county - 65,000 girls in the UK are believed to be at risk.

Det Insp Clare Smith, from the harm reduction unit, said: “We are all committed to raising awareness and tackling the issues surrounding forced marriages, honour based violence and FGM, which are under-reported. Our message is clear - if you or you suspect someone is the victim of one of these crimes do not suffer in silence - speak out. There is help available to you.”

Sarah Taylor, programme manager in the County Community Safety Unit – which co-ordinates the county approach to talking FGM, said: “Although we have had no known reported cases of FGM in Hertfordshire – we cannot turn a blind eye to this. We have been holding training sessions for staff from all partner agencies to raise awareness of this crime.”

For information and to seek help call the police non-emergency number on 101 or call the NSPCC 24 hour hotline on 0800 028 3550 or e-mail fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk