Girl taken into care and two arrested in FGM crackdown

An 11-year-old girl has been taken into care and two adults have been arrested in a crackdown on female genital mutilation (FGM).

A woman, 33, from Milton Keynes, and a man, 26, from London, were arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of conspiracy to commit child cruelty.

The Met Police said the girl had been travelling with them at the time.

The arrests were made by officers raising awareness of FGM, forced marriage and honour based abuse.

Prison term

Officers said, as part of the operation, they had spoken to passengers who had travelled to the UK on various flights including from Abuja, Sierra Leone and Lagos.

It is illegal to participate in arranging FGM in or outside the UK and those involved can face a prison term of 14 years.

There has only ever been one, unsuccessful, prosecution in the UK, with three more cases set to be reviewed by lawyers.

The Met said it had dealt with an increasing number of cases, rising from 29 reports in 2012 to 196 in the year to March 2016.

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