Claims of racism over female genital mutilation (FGM) investigations should not be allowed to disrupt a police initiative targeting families coming into the UK from countries where the practice is prevalent, one of the officers leading the project has said.
Insp Allen Davis of the Metropolitan police's child abuse and sexual offences command is part of Operation Limelight, a team of about 30 police officers, Border Force officials and social workers who meet flights coming in from countries where children might have been taken for FGM over the summer holidays. Among others they focus on flights coming into the UK from Egypt, Nigeria and other African countries including Ethiopia.
"It's important not to let fears of accusations of racism get in the way of protecting children," Davis said. "The thing you have to remember with FGM is that it blights a girl's entire life. We have to work to ensure that children are safeguarded."