British police identify 83 potential suspects in soccer's child sexual abuse investigation

British police identify 83 potential suspects in soccer's child sexual abuse investigation

The National Police Chiefs' Council in the UK has said 83 potential suspects have been identified in connection with allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football there.

Ninety-eight clubs spanning all tiers of the game have been "impacted", according to figures released by the National Police Chiefs' Council.

The NPCC said 98% of those identified as victims are male and the age range for potential victims at the time of alleged abuse spans from as young as seven to 20.

Many forces across the country continue to receive an increased number of calls from victims and people offering information, the NPCC said.

A total of 639 referrals from a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) helpline and directly from police forces have been received by Operation Hydrant, a national co-ordination hub.

The NPCC said analysis of information received by Operation Hydrant is ongoing, "with processes to determine if the referral relates to a victim or a witness and whether the information received is new or a duplication of information already received".

It added that the figure does not equate to the number of victims and an "indicative" figure of 350 previously reported continues to apply.

Other figures released showed that 83 potential suspects have been identified and 98 football clubs have been "impacted".

This does not equate to 98 football clubs under investigation but refers to the number of clubs referenced when information is submitted, the NPCC said, adding: "The figure spans all tiers of football, from premier clubs through to amateur."

NPCC lead for child protection Simon Bailey said: "Allegations received by police forces across the country are being swiftly acted upon.

"We are ensuring an efficient and effective service-wide approach to investigating allegations, removing the potential for duplication and enabling the timely and effective sharing of intelligence and information between forces.

"We are also liaising closely with the Football Association to ensure all relevant information they hold is shared to inform investigations moving forward.

"We continue to urge anyone who may have been a victim of child sexual abuse to report it by dialling 101, or contacting the dedicated NSPCC helpline, 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 ensure that appropriate action is being taken to prevent children being abused today.

"As the number of calls being received across the service is higher than usual, it may take longer than normal for an officer from a local force to make contact to follow up from the initial call.

"Please be assured that the information provided will be taken seriously and acted upon."

An NSPCC spokesman said: "These shocking numbers now identified by police reveal the deeply disturbing extent of abuse that has been going on within football.

"Our football hotline, launched with the support of the FA, saw a staggering surge in calls in its first week and anyone who wants to contact us can continue to do so in confidence, with the knowledge they will be listened to and supported."

More in this Section

Humans fooled by hyper-realistic masks in fifth of cases – studyHumans fooled by hyper-realistic masks in fifth of cases – study

Music industry workers ‘twice as likely to develop tinnitus’Music industry workers ‘twice as likely to develop tinnitus’

Inducing pregnant women at 41 weeks is safer than waiting, trial suggestsInducing pregnant women at 41 weeks is safer than waiting, trial suggests

Trump directed Ukraine quid pro quo, says key impeachment witnessTrump directed Ukraine quid pro quo, says key impeachment witness


Lifestyle

It won’t come as news to mothers-to-be that they are not eating for two, as the old saying goes, but the number of extra calories needed may come as a surprise. And it’s much fewer than you might think.Eating for two: It's quality not quantity of food that matters during pregnancy

No. It is such a small word, yet at times, something many of us find difficult to utter. The inability to say no to work, friends or family can cause so much stress in our lived lives.Learning Points: Just say no, there’s power in that little word

Fiona Kelleher has set some of the works of Múscraí poets Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair to music, writes Pet O'ConnellPoetry and music combine in reimagining of works of Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair

I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one! I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one!Mum's the word: I’m the needy one... I get the kiss off from my own daughter!

More From The Irish Examiner