Dating circumcision

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Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators.

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Knowing the danger to which she is exposing herself, her anxiety is entirely understandable.

"People are a bit frightened of saying 'You can't do this here' because people shoot back with 'But it's our culture'. I won't be put off by the politically correct argument. I don't care about human rights - I care about the rights of the child. "We have one rule in child protection: the child is of paramount importance.

I stick by that firmly."Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.

Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years.

Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

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