Police have launched a crackdown against human trafficking, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Kent Police worked with the Met and British Transport Police at Ebbsfleet International as part of Project Limelight.

During the operation officers focussed on trains coming in to the country from areas around the world where these practices take place.

This is the first operation of its kind to take place.

Officers spoke to passengers and handed out leaflets, while making sure people knew the signs of when people could be a victim of these offences.

Survivors of FGM also attended to provide advice and witness first-hand how the police and Border Force officials tackle this issue.

The National FGM Centre, run by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, works towards ending new cases of female genital mutilation for girls and women living in England by 2030.

Director of the National FGM Centre, Michelle Lee-Izu said: “FGM is child abuse and a human rights violation.

“Operation Limelight is part of our work raising awareness that it is illegal in this country and that it is also against the law to take a girl overseas to be cut.

“Our focus is engaging with passengers travelling to and from countries where the offence is practised.

“By talking to them we hope to educate families and prevent anyone who may be thinking about having FGM carried out as well as highlighting the support available to those who may be at risk.”

Before yesterday, this type of operation had only been held at UK airports.

Detective Inspector Ian Wadey from Kent Police’s public protection unit said: "I’m pleased that Kent Police officers were able to be a part of this operation.

"Those at risk from FGM and other harmful cultural practices need to be identified and protected but there is no easy, quick solution to this. Events like today help to educate communities about what is happening and who may be at risk, enabling people to share information and helping to identify vulnerable people within their communities.

"Kent Police, along with the MPS, BTP and other partner agencies are committed to working with communities to help tackle these issues and I hope we can continue to help to raise awareness of these issues through education and in time help to eradicate FGM and other harmful practices."