13th February 2015: All front line professionals in the UK will have a mandatory duty to report suspected cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The new measure announced today by Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone, will apply to all regulated healthcare and social care professionals, and teachers.
They will be required to report to the police any suspected cases within one month of initial disclosure/identification.
“FGM is a criminal offence and it is child abuse. It can cause extreme and lifelong physical and emotional suffering and we all have a responsibility to do all we can to put a stop to it,” Ms Featherstone said. “We believe that introducing a mandatory duty will provide clarity for professionals and will give them the confidence to confront FGM. It will aid police investigations and increase the number of perpetrators caught and prosecuted.”
The new law Ms Featherstone added, “will also send a clear message to perpetrators that they will be held responsible for their actions and help prevent this appalling crime from happening.”