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CPS decision on female genital mutilation case

26/07/2013

A CPS spokesperson said: "The CPS has been looking at eight cases of FGM, four of which are re-reviews of previous cases and four are new cases that have been referred to us for consideration and which we have been liaising with police on.

"We have now determined that no further action should be taken in relation to one of the new cases, in which it was alleged that the victim's mother had arranged for her to undergo female genital mutilation in Kenya in 2006.

"The case was referred to the CPS in January 2013 and after very careful consideration of the case, we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

"This was a very sensitive case in which the victim withdrew her allegation. We offered her specialist support and special measures but she was no longer willing to support a prosecution.

"Careful consideration was given as to whether a witness summons may have been appropriate in this instance and we took into account the information provided by the victim, police and social services in relation to the victim's vulnerability.

"In light of the information provided, we concluded that it would not be appropriate to apply for a witness summons, as to do so could lead to a real risk of harm to the victim's health.

"This was not a decision that was reached lightly, as the evidence of the victim was crucial to a prosecution. Without the victim, we were unable to proceed and we have therefore advised the Metropolitan Police that no further action should be taken in this case.

"The CPS remains committed to tackling FGM, which is a key priority for the organisation. We are still considering seven other cases, all of which will be reviewed on their own facts and merits.

"We also continue to make wider progress on the DPP's FGM action plan, published in November 2012, working closely with police and other agencies to ensure we take whatever steps possible to tackle the challenges of investigating and prosecuting cases of FGM.

"As part of this, last week, CPS London and the Metropolitan Police Service signed a protocol setting out best practice for police and prosecutors in cases involving FGM to ensure a thorough and consistent approach is taken to all investigations and prosecutions."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Division, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism, and Organised Crime. In 2011-2012, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health (DoH) prosecution functions were transferred to the CPS. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. In 2010-2011 the CPS employed around 7,745 people and prosecuted 957,881 cases with 116,898 of these in the Crown Court, and the remaining 840,983 in the magistrates' courts. Of those we prosecuted, 93,106 defendants were convicted in the Crown Court and 727,491 in the magistrates' courts. In total 86% of cases prosecuted resulted in a conviction. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.