Home » Judicial » UK Police Clear Zim Genital Mutilation Suspect

A POLICE inquiry into an unnamed Northampton woman arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation (FGM) has been closed.

The 42-year-old was about to board a flight travelling to Ghana via Amsterdam when she was held by officers on 6 February.

The woman, from Northampton, is a British national born in Zimbabwe.

She was released on bail a few days after being arrested.

Police have now said no further action will be taken in this case.

When the woman was bailed last week, it is reported that she was then reunited with her eight-year-old daughter, who had been taken into the care of social workers after her arrest.

When the woman was arrested officers from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command were out in force at Heathrow to show support for the international day of zero tolerance of FGM and carry out a proactive operation, working with border force agents.

The officers were engaged in “preventative and detection work”, speaking to passengers going to and from countries where FGM is common.

According to one officer the action was “one aspect of our continued efforts to raise awareness of this form of child abuse, its associated immediate and long-term health risks, and the absence of any religious teaching that supports its undertaking.”

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1984, and since 2003 anyone taking a child out of the UK for the purposes of FGM faces 14 years in prison. However there is yet to be a successful prosecution in the UK.

Source : New Zimbabwe