Healthcare, educational and social-work staff should be required by law to report to the police suspected cases of female genital mutilation, the top prosecutor in England and Wales has said.
The director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said there had only been 11 referrals of female genital mutilation cases by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service in the last two to three years, despite at least 144 complaints to police.
The most senior prosecuting officer was appearing before the House of Commons home affairs select committee after the first prosecution for female gential mutilation was announced last Friday – 29 years after it became illegal in England and Wales. The prosecution is being brought against a London doctor and a second man. The crime carries a maximum 14-year sentence.