A ZERO-tolerance policy to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been adopted by South Yorkshire Police.
The force has announced that it is standing alongside the United Nations, police forces across the country and other partner agencies, in a bid to eradicate the crime and safeguard young women from becoming victims.
The practise of FGM involves any procedure that removes part or all of the external female genitalia, or any procedure that involves injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said: “While it is thought that the practise predominantly takes place outside the UK, police believe it is a vastly under-reported crime and are urging the public in South Yorkshire to consider the warning signs that FGM may be taking place.”
Det Insp Karen Hockley, who leads on FGM for the force, said: “This is an incredibly taboo issue that we simply don’t talk about and we want to change that attitude in South Yorkshire.
“We can’t be sure that there aren’t those committing this crime in South Yorkshire.
“We have support resources available to young girls and women who have sadly already fallen victim to this horrific practise, but we need your help to identify young girls at risk so we can safeguard them from further harm.”
Signs of FGM include girls missing school or being taken on an extended holiday out of the country, becoming withdrawn or showing signs of being in pain or restricted in their movement.”
To report any concerns about FGM in South Yorkshire contact 101.