Claims that UK doctors were secretly filmed offering to perform and facilitate female circumcision are being investigated by police.

A report by the Sunday Times said that as many as 100,000 woman in Britain may have been victims of the practice, which is illegal.

Female circumcision is performed on young women around the world, but particularly in Africa, on cultural and religious grounds.

The News International newspaper claims to have recorded a dentist in Birmingham, Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow, describing how the operation could be performed, including details on how the clitoris could be pierced and clamped.

They said that he agreed to perform the procedure for £750 on two girls aged 10 and 13, in secret.

"I will do it for you," the paper claimed he said. "Nobody should know."

The dentist later denied that he had been involved with referring anyone for the operation.

The Sunday Times said they were referred to the doctor by a dentist who has surgeries in London and Birmingham, named Dr Ali Mao Aweys.

Both claims are now said to be under investigation by the West Midlands and Metropolitan Police, as well as the General Medical Council. Neither man named in the report has been charged with a crime.

No one in the UK has ever been prosecuted for involvement in female circumcision, despite possible penalties of up to 14 years in prison.