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UK: Concern as FGM reports fall during pandemic

It is feared victims of female genital mutilation in England are not reporting cases because of delays and lockdown closures, charities have told the BBC.

It comes as new figures revealed 635 new cases were recorded from July-September – a fall of more than a third compared with the same period in 2019.

The Home Office and NHS England said clinics remained open – but victims have reported treatment delays.

Campaigners fear the lower figures could lead to future funding cuts.

FGM is illegal in the UK and it is compulsory for family doctors, hospitals and mental health trusts to report any new cases in their patients.

The practice – intentionally altering or injuring the female external genitalia for non-medical reasons – carries a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.

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