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Around 350 victims have come forward to report child sexual abuse within football clubs

01 Dec 2016

Following ongoing and widespread publicity surrounding allegations of child sexual abuse within football, many police forces across the country have received a significant number of calls, both reporting further allegations and offering information.

Current figures, collated from information supplied by forces to Operation Hydrant and including referrals from the NSPCC helpline, suggest a total of around 350 victims have come forward to report child sexual abuse.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Child Protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said,

“It is important to note that this is an indicative figure only, and that information is still being collated, numbers will, therefore, continue to change.

“We are working closely with the Football Association to ensure that the response to this significant and growing number of victims, at all levels of football, is coordinated effectively.

“We continue to encourage those who have been the victim of child sexual abuse to report it, regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place.  We will listen and treat all reports sensitively and seriously. Anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse is also urged to come forward.

“When allegations are reported it enables police to assess whether there are current safeguarding risks and to ensure that appropriate action is taken to prevent children being abused today.

“As the number of calls being received across the service is high, it may take longer than normal for an officer from a local force to make contact to follow up from the initial call, but please be assured that the information provided will be taken seriously and acted upon.”

Further information:

  • All reports are being recorded and will be investigated by forces local to the area where the allegation was made.
  • Information received by forces is also being provided to Operation Hydrant to ensure that the policing response is coordinated nationally, avoiding duplication of investigation and ensuring the timely sharing of information and intelligence.
  • We will not be releasing  a breakdown of forces who are investigating reports of child sexual abuse in football.
  • Operation Hydrant is a coordination hub established in June 2014 to deliver the national policing response, oversight, and coordination of non-recent child abuse investigations concerning persons of public prominence, or in relation to those offences which took place historically within institutional settings.
  • Operation Hydrant takes referrals from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.