May 4, 2012
Two held in Britain over 'female genital mutilation'LONDON — Two people were arrested in Britain's second city of Birmingham on Friday after a media report that medics and alternative practitioners had offered to perform female genital mutilation.
West Midlands Police said they had arrested two men aged 55 and 61 on suspicion of offences under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, which forbids the cutting of a girl's genitalia unless medically necessary.
"We are still in the very early stages of this investigation but I hope this morning's action sends out a clear message about how seriously we are taking these allegations," said Detective Inspector Caroline Marsh of West Midlands Police's public protection unit.
"Female genital mutilation is a serious assault against young girls and while it is perceived by parents not to be an act of hate, it is harmful, it is child abuse and it is unlawful."
The Sunday Times reported that a doctor at a private clinic referred undercover reporters to a dentist who he said would give children the "circumcision" surgery.