It has been revealed by the Police, that more than 250 potential suspects and 560 victims have been identified in relation to child sex abuse within the football industry in the UK. The ages of the victims range from 4 to 20. 96% of the victims are male.
A hotline was set up to report abuse last year when a number of ex-footballers said they had been victims as youngsters. Police forces across the UK have received an increased number of calls from victims since the hotline was set up. The hotline set up by the NSPCC is available 24 hours a day on 0800 0232642.
In January 2016, the number of victims stood at 526 and the number of potential suspects stood at 184. 311 football clubs are involved in the inquiry that is led by Operation Hydrant.
Operation Hydrant was set up in 2014 by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). Operation Hydrants primary purpose is to act as central intelligence hub for historic child sex abuse allegations. Police forces across the UK, including Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, notify Operation Hydrant of all active cases. Information relating to their investigations is then examined by Operation Hydrant’s staff to identify any links between police investigations across the UK and prevent concurrent inquiries, and then shared with other police forces.
Operation Hydrant also provides individual police forces with advice and guidance on handling historic child sexual abuse allegations. It is also assisting the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, known as the Goddard Inquiry, set up to consider the extent to which institutions turned a blind eye to child sexual abuse and exploitation
The number of referrals is beginning to decline. However, the NPCC continues to urge victims to come forward.
The Football Association has also begun an independent review into its handling of abuse allegations in the years prior to 2005. The review is led by Clive Sheldon QC.
Jordans Solicitors are representing numerous cases relating to historic sexual child abuse. Our expertise and professionalism are well-known. If you have been a victim of historic sexual abuse by an institution or individual, please contact us. You will be put in touch with an experienced member of our legal team, who will work with you to determine how best to proceed with your claim against the person or institution that caused you harm.