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Reported FGM cases are ‘drop in the ocean’, says Head of National FGM Centre

Only 17 of 9,000 GP practices submitted an FGM report

In response to figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) about the number of identified cases of FGM in England, Celia Jeffreys, Head of the National FGM Centre, which helps women and girls affected by FGM and is run by Barnardo's and the Local Government Association, said:

"It's worrying the number of newly reported cases of FGM has dropped slightly this quarter. Many more women and girls could be being overlooked as out of the 9,000 GP practices in England just 17 submitted an FGM report. However, newly recorded cases of girls under 18 have doubled and cases involving girls born in the UK have increased too.

"These figures are just a drop in the ocean, despite increased awareness and identification in FGM cases. The number of GPs reporting on FGM must dramatically improve, along with better education, awareness and specialist training for professionals, especially outside of London."

Cllr Lisa Brett, the Local Government Association's FGM Champion and Chair of the FGM Centre's advisory board, said:

"While these figures show new cases of FGM recorded, the FGM Centre's pioneering pilot project is also providing a more detailed picture of how many women and girls are at risk, adding to the information on total numbers available from the NHS, so support can be better targeted going forward.

"Front line social workers in councils across the country are increasingly aware of the criminal practice of FGM but it will only be stopped for good if all agencies and communities work together to keep women and girls safe."

The latest FGM statistics are here.