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Female Genital Mutilation

Volume 643: debated on Thursday 21 June 2018

8. What steps the CPS is taking to improve the rate of prosecution of people responsible for female genital mutilation. (905999)

FGM is a crime and it is child abuse. The CPS has introduced a series of measures to improve the prosecution of these cases, including appointing a lead FGM prosecutor in each CPS area.

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for his reply. The French have had some success in arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning perpetrators of FGM. When are we going to bring justice for the British victims and have a serious deterrent for this abhorrent crime?

I understand my hon. Friend’s point entirely, and he will understand the frustration felt in the CPS and elsewhere at the fact that those cases that have been brought to court have not resulted in conviction. He will recognise that every case is different and must be judged on its merits. As was said earlier, these cases are often difficult to prosecute. It is worth pointing out that we do not just respond to this behaviour by prosecution; there are also very important FGM prevention orders—civil orders that have criminal consequences if they are breached—and we have seen more than 200 of those since they were introduced in 2015.

The Attorney General speaks of prevention; he may know that my constituent, Lola Ilesanmi, is still threatened with deportation, and her daughter has been threatened with FGM at the hands of Lola’s violent ex-partner if she returns to Nigeria. What is the Attorney General doing to work with the Home Secretary to prevent deportations, to prevent FGM and to prevent women and children from suffering from or being threatened by this abhorrent crime?

I hope the hon. Lady will understand that I cannot comment on the individual case that she raises and its immigration consequences, but I can tell her that it is open to courts that are persuaded to implement a civil prevention order to make travel requirements part of that order. There is that safeguard, but I am afraid I cannot give her a clear answer in respect of her constituency case, which I know she will raise with the Home Office.