FGM is a clear and severe form of child abuse and violence against women and girls and is illegal throughout the UK.

The Home Office has published multi-agency practice guidelines outlining the responsibility of each professional in protecting girls and women from FGM. Following consultation, these guidelines will become statutory in 2016. The guidelines clarify the role and responsibilities of police officers in protecting girls and women at risk from FGM.

The police may frequently be asked to undertake joint investigations by children’s social care. These need to be handled according to the procedures prepared by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children. Under the mandatory reporting duty for regulated professionals, the police will also receive all reports of children under 18 with FGM in England and Wales. Police officers have to have suitable training to understand their duties and how to intervene to protect girls and women at risk.

To access resources relevant to the police visit the Knowledge Hub and select your profession.

To find out more about training offered by the National FGM Centre, contact Sonita Pobi.

Email: sonita.pobi@barnardos.org.uk