BOLTON’S police and crime commissioner is backing a campaign to teach children in schools about the risks of female genital mutilation.

The campaign has been organised 17-year-old student Fahma Mohamed from Bristol, who will be meeting education secretary Michael Gove today to discuss the issue.

More than 200,000 people have signed the petition, including Tony Lloyd and his deputy Jim Battle.

Although female genital mutilation is illegal in the UK, thousands of girls suffer from it each year.

It is estimated that 24,000 girls are at risk in the UK, and Mr Lloyd is determined to ensure greater openness as a means of eliminating it completely.

Mr Lloyd said: “Female genital mutilation is a barbaric practice that has no place in the 21st century. It is child abuse.

“Perhaps the greatest obstacle to eliminating it within our society is the secrecy surrounding the issue. By talking about it openly, and supporting the work of brave individuals such as Fahma, we can all work together to ensure female genital mutilation is eliminated completely.

“These sensitive and challenging conversations need to happen in homes, schools and community centres not simply in Greater Manchester but throughout the whole UK. If every headteacher was given the information they need to talk about FGM to students and parents, we could work together to protect all those most in need.”

  • For more information on Fahma’s campaign, and to sign the petition, visit her site at
  • For more information about female genital mutilation, including information about where to get help and advice, visit