FGM is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls. We significantly strengthened the law in 2015 in order to improve protection for victims and those at risk, and to break down the barriers to prosecution.
The first UK conviction for FGM took place on 1 February 2019 and the perpetrator was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The Home Office does not collate information on prosecutions centrally. Information on FGM prosecutions can be found in the Violence Against Women and Girls Reports, which are published annually by the Crown Prosecution Service.
We have not previously collected data on the number of FGM cases received under the mandatory reporting duty. However, to improve understanding of the prevalence of so called ‘honour-based’ abuse, including FGM, the Government amended the police Annual Data Requirement (ADR) to require police forces, from April 2019, to record where a crime has been committed in the context of preserving the ‘honour’ of a family or community. This new collection is also capturing police recorded offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the mandatory reporting duty. Subject to data quality checks, we expect the first dataset under this new mandatory ADR collection to be published by autumn 2020.
The Government will continue to keep the changes made in the Serious Crime Act 2015 under review in order to ensure that they are working effectively.
The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly statistics on the number of FGM Protection Orders (FGMPOs) issued by the family courts in England and Wales, which can be found via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/family-court-statistics-quarterly.
The figures from 2015-2019 are set out in the table below. To note that FGMPOs were introduced in July 2015 and the figures for 2019 cover the period up to 30 September 2019. Figures for the final three months of 2019 will be published in due course.