February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Also known as female circumcision or cutting, FGM is a collective term which refers to the removal or partial removal of a femaleâ€™s genitalia, or injury to the female organs for cultural, religious or non-medical reasons.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Williams said: â€œFemale genital mutilation is an extremely serious crime and must never be tolerated.
â€œWe know FGM is under-reported nationally, and one of our Force priorities is to protect victims from this vile form of abuse, promote education of the issue to help increase awareness among the public and improve relationships with communities where women and girls are at risk of FGM.
â€œFGM is physical abuse, and whilst it is perceived by parents not to be an act of hate, it is harmful, it is child abuse and it is unlawful.
The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it:
An offence under this act has a maximum penalty of up toÂ 14 years in prisonÂ and/or a fine. DCI Williams added: â€œIf you feel you are at risk, suffering from the effects of FGM, suspect a child may be at risk or have any information at all relating to suspected acts of FGM, please let us know. We take reports of Female Genital Mutilation very seriously and will work to protect and support the victim fully.â€
Anyone with information about children believed to be at risk of FGM, about children believed to have been subject to FGM or about people believed to be carrying out FGM is urged to contact North Wales Police on 101. Alternatively please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Further information regarding the UNâ€™s International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is available via: www.un.org/en/events/femalegenitalmutilationday/