FEMALE genital mutilation is a crime in the UK and Dyfed-Powys Police is driving home this message to its communities on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Officers and PCSOs will be raising awareness of the issue on the official day of action, Tuesday, February 6.

Female genital mutilation is any procedure that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, Head of Public Protection, said: “Cases are not commonly reported within our force area and the majority of those that are reported come from midwives whose pregnant clients have had historical FGM in their country of birth, where it is not illegal.

“Our awareness raising work with partners in health, local authorities and third sector groups aims to: ensure people know that FGM is illegal; prevent FGM from being carried out on any children living within our force area and to encourage people to report concerns to police, or any other appropriate agency, if they suspect someone is at risk of FGM.”

Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be out in their communities talking to people about FGM as they distribute information leaflets and posters to get the message out there.

To ensure officers and staff are skilled and confident in dealing with FGM, the all-Wales voluntary organisation BAWSO, which provides support to BME victims of all types of violence, including FGM, has provided training on the subject.

For more information on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/femalegenitalmutilationday/

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