A police force in Britain has secured the country’s first “protection order” against female genital mutilation (FGM).
The order, obtained by Bedfordshire Police, prevents two young girls from travelling out of the country after fears they would be taken to Africa to undergo the procedure, the Telegraph reports.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Bellingham said: “This legislation is a really positive step forward in the fight against this horrific, cruel crime, and we’re pleased to have been able to enforce it today by issuing a protection order.
“With schools breaking up for the summer holidays today, we will continue to use this legislation where needed to prevent young girls who we believe may be at risk from being taken out of the country.
“This is child abuse, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that children are kept safe and that those responsible are caught.”
FGM involves the partial or complete removal of the external female genital organs, usually for cultural reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK, yet it is estimated that some 20,000 girls in Britain are at risk every year.
Last year, Breitbart London reported how an NHS study revealed that up 170,000 women and girls in the UK may be living with the consequences of FGM. The health service documented 467 new cases in the space of a month, with a group of MPs calling the figures a “national scandal”.
Despite evidence of a growing number of cases, no one in Britain has yet been convicted for the practice. A test case was thrown out in February, with both defendants declared “not guilty”.
Bellingham added: “A change in law isn’t in itself enough to end this barbaric practice. I’d urge anyone who suspects that a child is at risk of FGM to contact police immediately.”