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Operation Hydrant group to assess scale of historic child abuse cases involving institutions and prominent people

05 Aug 2014

A national coordinating group, named Operation Hydrant, has been set up to act as an information, advice and good practice-sharing hub for forces investigating historic child abuse cases which involve institutions and prominent individuals, the national lead for child abuse investigations, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, announced today.



Chief Constable Bailey said:

“Following a meeting of senior officers in Merseyside in the last few weeks, a stream of work, called Operation Hydrant, was established so as to allow a central strategic coordination group to collate and share information, advice and best practice among forces who were investigating allegations of historic child abuse where there were persons of public prominence (PPPs) concerned in the investigation.

“Since the foundation of Hydrant, a decision has been made to expand the scope of Hydrant’s work to encompass not just those historic abuse inquiries concerning PPPs, but also all those concerning institutions as well.

“This is likely to involve all police forces in the UK, and we have included Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland in our remit.

“The Op Hydrant Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) has now been established and will meet during the second week of September.

“In the interim, I have written to all forces asking them to provide the SCG with information of any historic abuse inquiries involving institutions and PPPs so that we can build up a national picture and commence our work in sharing the relevant information and advice between forces.

“It should be noted that the SCG will not be leading any investigations – this is not a task force. Individual investigations are a matter for individual forces.

“Until such time as the SCG has had time to consider the national picture of these inquiries at its first formal meeting, we will be making no further comment on Operation Hydrant’s activities.”

Notes to Editors

1) The Strategic Coordinating Group will be chaired by CC Simon Bailey and will comprise of a number of chief officers, senior investigating officers and a communications advisor who, together, will coordinate the national scale of the types of inquiries mentioned and act as a hub for information and good practice advice to individual investigating forces

2) CC Bailey is unavailable for interview.

3) The definitions being worked to are as follows:

  • Historic - Any investigation where the offence occurred over one year before it was reported
  • Institutions - An institution is a large organization such as a parliament, a school, a council, hospital, prison or children’s home. It can also relate to large bodies or organisations with several smaller sites distributed around a locality
  • PPP’s
    - Persons with celebrity / high profile status
    - Elected officials either locally or nationally
    - Persons of significant national prominence or otherwise in the public eye
    - Known associates of any of the above

For more information please contact

Paddy Cooper

ACPO Press Office

Association of Chief Police Officers