For three decades, FGM has been illegal in the UK. Why have there still been no prosecutions?

Detective Chief Inspector Leanne Pook clearly remembers when she was first seized with an absolute determination to help stop the scourge of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain.

After dedicating much of her career to child protection in Avon and Somerset, she’d been tasked with leading work in the region not only to prevent British women and girls being cut – but also to bring the perpetrators to justice.

She’d attended an event at Bristol University, along with 400 other people – when a 15 year old boy, Mukhtar Hassan, stood up and addressed the audience passionately. Why, he asked, was he, as a boy, concerned about FGM? His answer, DCI Pook recalls, was simple: “He said, ‘I may be a…

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