Harrow Council has received a Government grant in its fight to protect girls from female genital mutilation.

Money for a specialist FGM social worker and extra support to use FGM Protection Orders have given the council teeth in its quest to rid the illegal practice from the community.

The new council officer will work to identify and safeguard girls who may be at risk through a series of discussions and interventions.

Harrow Council executed an FGM Protection Order for the first time this year to protect children subject to the procedure.

The council will work with Barnardo’s and the Centre for Female Genital Mutilation to reach deep into communities and root out false ideas about FGM and make the legal consequences of the practice known.

Krishna Suresh, council portfolio holder for community cohesion and crime, said: “We are completely committed to stamping out FGM. This crime has no place in our society.

“If there is just one person in our borough that thinks this practice is OK – then that is one too many. That’s why it’s so vital that we keep up this fight, keep informing and engaging and keep spreading the word.”

Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre, added: “FGM is child abuse and the practice is illegal in the UK, but spotting girls at risk or women who’ve already been subjected to the procedure is difficult if local authorities don’t have the necessary specialist skills and knowledge.

"This is why the National FGM Centre is pleased to be working with the council and the communities it serves to help professionals keep girls safe from this harmful, unlawful practice and to provide the right support to them and their families.”