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Police at Port of Dover and Ebbsfleet International raising awareness of female genital mutilation

Police have been talking to people at two Kent ports and a railway station to discuss faith related child abuse.

Kent Police, working with Met Police and other agencies, were at ports in Dover and Folkestone and Ebbsfleet International on Tuesday.

Police were at ports in Folkestone and Dover to discuss 'faith related' forms of child abuse(16449971)
Police were at ports in Folkestone and Dover to discuss 'faith related' forms of child abuse(16449971)

Whilst there, the forces were speaking to passengers and handing out leaflets altering them to signs of female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Kent Police said it "addressed" those travelling to or from countries where such crimes are prevalent.

Detective Superintendent Coretta Hine of Kent Police said: "Through our work Kent Police remains committed to identifying and protecting those who are vulnerable and potentially at risk of becoming victims to faith-related crimes and other harmful cultural practices.

"It is important that by working alongside our partners we strive to educate people about what is happening so they will be able to identify those at risk within their own communities, and know where to seek help.

"We also need communities and professionals to share information as to what is happening, who is involved and who is at risk. Information can be reported to us online at www.kent.police.uk/report, by calling 101 or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent on 0800 555111."

The World Health Organisation defines FGM as any procedure involving the removal or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

It is estimated that more than 140 million girls and women globally have undergone the procedure, usually for religious or cultural reasons. However there are no health benefits to FGM and it can cause serious harm including infertility, problems during childbirth and labour, and depression.

Adults worried a child is at risk of any abuse can call the NSPCC helpline for advice and support on 0808 800 5000.

Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 1111. If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, dial the emergency services on 999.

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