On 17th November, FORWARD and Somali Human Hope attended the Annual Police Gala Awards as guests of Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton and Detective Sergeant Dick Green. FORWARD has been working with the police to inform communities about the 2003 FGM Act and the police’s roles and responsibilities in respect of that legislation.
The Gala was a very interesting evening established to acknowledge the outstanding activities of members of the police. The ‘FGM Project’ was up for an award as an example of good police work in partnership with the community, in the ‘Diversity’ category. Nominees were not informed of the outcome in advance and it was most exciting when Nick Ross (of BBC crime watch) started describing the project that had won first place and we realised that the winner was the ‘FGM project’!!! In the words of a judge: ‘This is an excellent project for every force in the UK to learn from. This well-deserved winner is a good example of how working in partnership with communities is the best way to tackle crimes that affect them.’ Well done to Carol, Dick, the FGM project team and Said Ahmed (Somali Human Hope)!!!.
The first prize is a certificate, a glass trophy and a cheque for £5000. We are already discussing how we can multiply the sum to do something really effective with it. One idea is to produce a short video in several languages that can be played in airport waiting rooms of flights that depart to FGM practising countries so that members of such communities are fully aware of the legislation and human rights violations inherent in FGM before they leave the UK.
If you have any other suggestions, share them with us by emailing Sarah at: [email protected]