Police Commissioner candidate promises to act on female circumcision
A candidate in the running to become Avon and Somerset's police commissioner has pledged to crack down on the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Pete Levy, who is the Liberal Democrat candidate, has pledged to bring the first arrest and prosecution for FGM in the UK.
FGM is carried out by some communities and is female circumcision performed on young girls which sees the removal of part or all of their labia.
It is exceptionally painful and leaves lifelong scarring and pain.
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Pete Levy said: “Female Genital Mutilation is utterly unacceptable and it is shameful that this practice still continues in some quarters but even worse that there have been no prosecutions for this in the UK.
“We need to be clear this is child abuse and the effects of FGM will live with the girls for the rest of their lives. There is no good medical reason for this practise and I am determined if elected as Police Commissioner that the force will adopt a policy of zero tolerance and investigate and look to prosecute all cases.”
Prosecutions for FGM have been brought in France yet despite there being many documented cases here in the UK there have been no prosecutions.
Mr Levy proposes that as well as a zero tolerance to this crime he would work using his powers of community safety to promote and educate the eradication of FGM amongst those few people who still believe this is acceptable.