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Figures show 45 newly-recorded female genital mutilation cases in Slough in 2016/17

James Hockaday

James Hockaday

Figures show 45 newly-recorded female genital mutilation cases in Slough in 2016/17

An NSPCC spokesman said: "We need to end the silence that surrounds FGM to better protect children."

Figures released by the NHS today (Tuesday) report a 75 per cent increase in newly-recorded female genital mutilation (FGM) cases in Slough in 2016/17 compared to the previous year.

The statistics, released by NHS Digital Today, show that out of the 45 newly-recorded cases between April 2016 and March 2017, five were carried out when the victims were aged between five and nine.

The study, which compiled data on cases across England using information from acute trusts, mental health trusts and GP practices said that 35 of the cases recorded in Slough were carried out in East Africa.

The figures are from the health service’s Female Genital Mutilation Enhanced Dataset, which recorded 15 newly-reported cases in Slough in 2015/16.

Out of the cases recorded between 2016 and 2017 in Slough, no acts of FGM were reported as being carried in Slough or in the UK.

All 45 cases were self-reported by victims, most of whom were born in East Africa and aged between 25 and 39 when reporting.

There were 5,391 newly-recorded cases reported in England and 9,179 NHS attendances where FGM was identified or a FGM medical procedure was carried out.

Women and girls born in Somalia account for more than one third of newly-recorded cases and the majority of victims were aged five to nine when they were mutilated.

Figures show that 57 cases of FGM in England were known to have been carried out in the UK.

A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) spokesman said: "FGM is child abuse. Despite being illegal for over 30 years, too many people are still being subjected to it and it is right that health services have started to properly record evidence of this horrendous practice.

“The NSPCC Helpline is contacted more than once a day by people worried about girls who may have suffered, or are at risk of, FGM.

"It takes courage to report concerns as many feel ashamed or worry they will betray friends and family.

"We need to end the silence that surrounds FGM to better protect children."

Call the NSPCC FGM helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or visit nspcc.org.uk.

Slough Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, Cllr Sabia Hussain (Lab, Central), said: “It is reassuring to know more women are coming forward and reporting cases of female genital mutilation.

“It's really important victims get adequate help, advice and support to prevent further health issues and complications.

“With children as young as five being victims of this heinous and illegal act, it is deeply concerning.

“It's important everyone understands female genital mutilation is not a practice by one religious group, but a cultural practice dating back hundreds of years.

“It is for this reason education, guidance and support is so important in eradicating this practice in Slough and the UK.”

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