It has today been reported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) that the number of suspects of the football child abuse scandal has now reached 155.

Sadly there are reported to be around 429 potential victims of the abuse, with some of these children as young as four years old at the time the offences took place, and 148 football clubs are under investigation.

Norfolk Police Chief Constable, Simon Bailey, who is the NPCC lead on child abuse commented “the numbers keep growing and we are dealing with some of the most complex investigations that could ever be imagined. The cases are incredibly sensitive and sometimes very high profile which all creates a huge challenge for the service.”

Separate figures show the number of historical child abuse suspects across all walks of life is currently at an astonishingly 3,469 which is more than double the figures in the previous 18 months. In contrast, in May 2015 there were 1,433 suspects of historic child abuse under investigation.

NPCC set up Operation Hydrant to oversee investigations of ‘non-recent’ child sex abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence and it is here that the spotlight has fallen on the football abuse as a number of former footballers have come forward to publicly reveal their story.

Since the NPCC was set up Operation Hydrant statistics reveal that suspects under investigations come from the world of TV/radio/film, politicians, music and also sport.

Statistics from the NSPCC currently stand at:

  • 819 referrals to Operation Hydrant from Police Forces and NSPCC helpline
  • 148 football clubs impacted from Premier League to amateur level
  • 4 to 20 years is the age range of victims at the time of alleged abuse
  • 98% of potential victims are male.

In November 2016 there were 26 sports venues under investigation; however this figure has now risen to 74.

Other institutions under investigation include Schools, Children’s homes, Religious Institutions, Medical, Scouts/Cadets, Prisons/YOIs, and also community institutions.

Victims of child sexual abuse are being urged to report any matter by dialing 101 or contacting the dedicated NSPCC helpline regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place.

Farleys Solicitors LLP have highly experienced and dedicated solicitors who represent many victims of child sex abuse.  Should you wish to discuss any related matters in the strictest of confidence please contact our Specialist Abuse Team on 0845 287 0939 or complete our online contact form.