Police are targeting a secret network of travel agents, money lenders, doctors and taxi drivers who help female genital mutilation happen in Britain, it emerged today.
Officers believe the network is allowing the brutal practice to continue under the radar as thousands of girls in the UK remain at risk. The crime ring uses doctors willing to prescribe pain relief to victims, travel agents who arrange flights to countries where the cutting takes place and money lenders to provide finance for families.
FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985 but there has never been a successful prosecution. However, the country’s first trial for female genital mutilation is expected to take place within weeks, following a concerted campaign to bring FGM to an end. Experts have warned though that prosecutions are being hampered because doctors, teachers and social workers are systematically failing to report cases of genital mutilation to the police.