Justice Minister announces every area of UK to have it’s own lead FGM prosecutor

Every region of the UK will have its own “lead FGM prosecutor”, the Government has said as it aims to increase the number of people facing justice for the practice.

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer made the announcement in the Commons on Tuesday, after proposals to give girls greater protection from female genital mutilation moved to the verge of becoming law on Monday night.

MPs gave their support to the legislation, which was brought forward by backbench Tory Zac Goldsmith (pictured), and it has now cleared both the Lords and the Commons and awaits Royal Assent to reach the statute books.

Conservative Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent) said “as many as 137,000 women and girls have suffered from FGM”, and urged Ms Frazer “to take further action so that we end FGM in the UK”.

So far there has only been one successful prosecution for the specific offence.

The minister replied: “She asked particularly about improving prosecutions and I’m pleased to tell her each CPS area now has a lead FGM prosecutor now.

“And those FGM prosecutors will be working with their local police forces on arrangements for investigation and prosecution of FGM offences.”

She said that, of those 137,000 victims, some were mutilated in the UK, but others had it done to them abroad, adding: “So our response to this needs to be two-pronged.

“First to ensure we that support other countries, and DfID is doing that, recently made the largest single donation of £50 million to help countries overseas and also to tackle it in this country, and we are taking a cross-Government view on this with many departments taking action.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) John Stillwell / PA Wire.