SHOCKING statistics have revealed 5,700 girls aged as young as five suffering female genital mutilation in the UK - with Sheffield and Leeds in the top 10 for new cases.
The first ever recorded figures show that more than four in ten were aged just five to nine when they were operated on.
FGM is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia.
The practise has been illegal in the UK since 1985.
According to figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre there were 165 newly recorded cases reported in Sheffield and 125 in Leeds between April last year and this March.
Bradford recorded 55, Hull, 45 and Wakefield 35.
Of the newly reported cases 43 involved women and girls born in the UK.
More than half the cases were reported in London, with one single local authority, Brent, having over one in seven of the total attendances for FGM in a year (1250).
Second in the list for total attendances was Bristol (705), followed by Birmingham, Harrow and Ealing.
Manchester has 350 cases, with Sheffield recording a total of 185.
The World Health Organisation recognises FGM as a “violation of the human rights of girls and women”.
“It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.
“The practice violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”
Long-term consequences of DGM can include urinary, menstrual and vaginal problems and increased risk of childbirth complications.
More than 3m girls are estimated to be at risk of FGM annually.
According to the HSCIC, Somalia accounts for a third of newly recorded cases, with other countries, with a large volume of cases, including Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria and the Gambia.
Some 112 NHS trusts and 38 GP practices submitted data for one or more FGM attendances.