Nine cases of FGM reported to police in London in a month

Nine cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) were reported in London alone in the four weeks since it became mandatory for healthcare professionals and teachers to report cases to the police.

England’s chief nursing officer Jane Cummings said the figure proves how important it is for nurses to report safeguarding concerns, and how pressing a topic safeguarding now is for nurses because it encompasses problems including FGM and the radicalisation of vulnerable young people.

Speaking at her annual summit for senior nurses, Ms Cummings said: ‘FGM is now an area of safeguarding that in the past wouldn't have been talked about or addressed. Nurses have an important role to play in this.’

A legal duty requiring all regulated professionals, including nurses, doctors and teachers in England and Wales to report cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds came into force on October 31. It followed the amendment to section 74 of the Serious Crime Act.

FGM was recognised as a criminal offence in the UK in 1985. The NHS estimates around 137,000 women are affected and research estimates 23,000 girls under the age of 15 are at imminent risk.

Read more from RCNi

FGM – Recognise, Respond, Refer and Report