Police raid unregistered school over FGM fears

Police raid unregistered school over FGM fears

Police have arrested three people on suspicion of involvement in female genital mutilation at an unregistered school in Birmingham.

Officers raided the premises and were pictured taking away bags of evidence including computers on Tuesday.

Three people including two men aged 32 and 61 have been arrested after Ofsted inspectors found a locked room with a bed and medical equipment at the unregistered school.

One of those arrested is said to be from east London, sparking concerns of FGM being carried out further afield.

The exact number of women and girls in the UK who have undergone FGM is unknown. However, a 2015 study based on 2011 census data estimated that around 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM.

It is thought to be the first alleged case of FGM in Britain involving an unregistered school.

A West Midlands Police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We were called at 11.39am on Tuesday 10 May by Ofsted inspectors who were investigating reports of an unregistered school.

There were concerns raised about possible illegal practices which may have taken place at the premises.

‘As part of our enquiries two men, aged 32 and 61, have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in female genital mutilation and remain in custody for questioning.

‘We understand the concern this will cause within the community but it’s important to stress we’re still working to establish whether any offences have occurred. Our investigation along with partner agencies is continuing.’

MailOnline has contacted Ofsted for further information.

An unregistered school is a setting that is operating as an independent school but is not registered with the Department for Education.

Anyone who wishes to run an independent or private school must register as a school with the Department for Education, the regulatory body for independent schools.

If a school is not operating legally, the person who runs it is guilty of an offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008.

If convicted, they could be fined an unlimited amount and/or imprisoned for up to six months.

A 2015 study based on 2011 census data on FGM in the UK found around 103,000 women aged 15-49 and around 24,000 women aged 50 and over who have migrated to England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM.

It also found that around 10,000 girls aged under 15 who have migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM

The study also reported that women who have undergone FGM do not only live in urban centres in England and Wales.

London has the highest prevalence rate in England and Wales, with an estimated 2.1% of women affected by FGM, the 2015 study found.

Outside the capital, the highest estimates were for Manchester, Slough, Bristol, Leicester and Birmingham.

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