Stamping out FGM - Harrow wins money to keep up the fight

"This crime has no place in our society"

Harrow Council’s fight against the abhorrent and illegal practice of female genital mutilation, known as FGM, will continue and be strengthened this year after it won thousands of pounds in grant funding from the government.

Harrow works with charity Barnardo’s and the Centre for Female Genital Mutilation to reach deep into communities to root out false ideas about FGM and make the legal consequences of the practice known.

Krishna Suresh, Council Portfolio Holder for Community Cohesion and Crime, said: “Our dedicated FGM social worker is amazing and my thanks go to them for all that they are doing and will continue to do.

“We are completely committed to stamping out FGM. This crime has no place in our society. If there is just one person in our borough that thinks this practice is OK – then that is one too many. That’s why it’s so vital that we keep up this fight, keep informing and engaging and keep spreading the word.”

Harrow Council’s dedicated FGM officer works tirelessly to protect girls who may be at risk of being subjected to the procedure. Measures range from simple discussions to interventions. Harrow Council this year was successful in securing its first FGM Protection Order, designed to safeguard the female children involved from the risk of FGM.

Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre, which is run by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, said: “We are delighted that Harrow Council has received this grant which will continue to fund a specialist FGM social worker, as well as helping the local authority to secure its first FGM Protection Order.

“FGM is child abuse and the practice is illegal in the UK, but spotting girls at risk or women who’ve already been subjected to the procedure is difficult if local authorities don’t have the necessary specialist skills and knowledge.

"This is why the National FGM Centre is pleased to be working with the council and the communities it serves to help professionals keep girls safe from this harmful, unlawful practice and to provide the right support to them and their families.”