As you may have heard in recent news, the Police together with the FA are investigating historical child abuse claims throughout all levels of football.
In a December statement released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), it was revealed that around 100 clubs ranging from Premier League to amateur status are involved in the enquiry. The NPCC have so far received more than 1,000 referrals UK-wide.
The Metropolitan Police are working hard to investigate 255 separate allegations of abuse, relating to historical child sex abuse over several years. This relates to 77 clubs or teams in London including all 5 London based teams in the Premier League and 3 in the Championship.
As ex-professional footballers have waived their rights to anonymity and make the decision to go public about their ordeal, others are being encouraged to speak up and come forward.
There has been over 155 potential suspects identified and after recent media coverage, more victims are expected to come forward with their stories.
Due to the incredibly sensitive nature of the investigation, specialist abuse claim solicitors are now assisting claimants. Latest figures released show the total number of potential victims, which stands at 526.
97% of these have been identified as male.
Detective Chief Superintendent Ivan Balhatchet of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said: "The Met take all allegations seriously and specialist officers will work through the information passed to them.”
Following the vast number of allegations, the NSPCC have set up a specialist hotline available 24hours a day, which in the first 3 weeks of opening, received over 1,700 calls.
In the first 3 days of the hotline opening, the NSPCC made 60 referrals to external services such as social services and the police for further investigation.
If you help run a sports club or have children who attend them, take a look at this infographic which details 7 points to help safeguard members. View it here.
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NSPCC Hotline - 0800 0232642