London, Apr 28 (IANS): British policemen are all set to receive special training following a rise in witchcraft murders and attacks on children by their families and loved-ones across the country.
Witchcraft abuse and female genital mutilation are most often carried out by the religious and superstitious in Britain's immigrant communities.
The Metropolitan police have admitted its officers are rarely able to spot the signs that a youngster is in danger despite dealing with 81 sorcery cases in the last decade, the Daily Mail reported.
Its religious violence unit will now offer all the staff training in a pilot scheme that could be rolled out across the country following a spate of high profile cases.
Last month a woman was jailed for life for torturing her teenage brother to death after accusing him of witchcraft.
Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend Eric Bikubi inflicted over 130 injuries on 15-year-old Kristy Bamu over the course of a horrific four-day attack in Newham, east London.
"We're very well aware that usually the first person on scene is going to be the young cop with two or three years' service who probably has no understanding of this whatsoever," The Independent quoted Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe, head of the Metropolitan Police's Religious Violence Unit as saying.
"We're not naïve enough to think this is just happening in London. It is happening in Birmingham, it's happening in Leeds, Manchester and other big cities across the country."
Following this, a new booklet is to be handed to all officers and new recruits will get extra training. The paperwork will spell out language they should listen for when they enter homes and how to judge whether any child is at risk.
This summer the government will also send out similar advice to GPs, hospitals and schools to enable them to better spot the symptoms.