metLondon-based social workers and police officers have been criticised by MPs for failing to put girls in the capital at danger of female genital mutilation on the child protection register.

A report from the Commons International Development Select Committee said they were "appalled" to learn that despite 148 referrals of FGM in four years, police and social services do not place at-risk girls on a child protection watchlist.

FGM monitoring must improve
The Committee's report concluded that monitoring of girls at risk of FGM must improve after finding that the Met were "unaware" of the whereabouts of any of the suspected or potential victims referred to them.

In the report, which focussed on the violence against British women abroad amid reports that 91% of women in Eqypt are circumcised, MPs suggested that "the credibility of British action abroad was undermined by the failure to tackle the problem effectively here".

It is estimated that up to 20,000 girls in the UK are currently at risk of FGM.

Absolutely no justification for FGM
Reacting to the Committee's findings, a Home Office spokesman said the police must not let political correctness get in the way of preventing the crime.

"There is no justification for female genital mutilation," added the spokesman. "It is child abuse and it is illegal.

"We are absolutely clear that political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of preventing and uncovering this terrible form of criminal activity."