NINE cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) have been reported to South Yorkshire Police in the last 12 months.
The force said it was working hard to tackle the issue around the serious crime, encourage reporting and protect victims.
FGM is an illegal and violent practice that is still conducted in many countries across the world.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “There have been nine cases reported to South Yorkshire Police since March 2016 as a result of mandatory reporting or safeguarding issues.
“All cases were found to have occurred outside of the UK prior to the individual living here. All have been offered health support and guidance.”
The force has taken part in conferences with partner agencies to share knowledge, identify gaps in understanding and develop plans to tackle FGM.
The spokeswoman added: “Action has also been taken to train officers so they have specialist knowledge and understanding on the subject, enforce and issue protection orders to protect the health and welfare of victims and work alongside health and social professionals to put treatment plans in place.”
Engagement with different community groups, who may be vulnerable to the offence had also increased.
Deputy force lead for FGM, Det Sgt Suzanne Bluck, said: “It is extremely important to raise awareness of FGM as it is illegal in the UK and offenders found guilty can face up to 14 years in jail.
“The lack of understanding and knowledge of FGM among local communities and professionals makes it extremely difficult to identify victims and achieve prosecutions.
“However, we will not let these barriers stop us from implementing our Prevent, Protect, Partners and Prosecute strategy.”
To report FGM call police on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org