UK football sex abuse: Hundreds come forward to police


The figures, compiled by forces and including referrals to a specially set up helpline, were released in a statement Thursday.

Simon Bailey, the lead for child protection on the national police council, says he fully expects those numbers to change in the coming weeks.

“It is important to note that this is an indicative figure only, and that information is still being collated, numbers will, therefore, continue to change,” Chief Constable Simon Bailey said.

“We are working closely with the Football Association to ensure that the response to this significant and growing number of victims, at all levels of football, is coordinated effectively.

‘Staggering

A hotline set up to help victims of the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked English football, has received 860 calls for help in its first week.

The service, set up and monitored by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), says its staff made 60 referrals to the police and social services in the first three days alone.
“The number of high profile footballers bravely speaking out about their ordeal has rightly caught the attention of the entire country,” NSPCC chief executive Paul Wanless said.

“We’ve had a staggering surge in calls to our football helpline which reveals the worrying extent of abuse that had been going on within the sport,” he added.

“Anyone who wants to contact us can do so in confidence, with the knowledge they will be listened to and supported. In future footballers — both young players and former athletes — must have the confidence to open up about sexual abuse and feel able to come forward.”

More allegations

The number of players coming forward has increased in recent days. A former Newcastle United forward, David Eatock, became the latest to tell police he was sexually abused during his time at the club.

In an interview with the Guardian, Eatock alleges two incidents involving former coach George Ormond, who was sentenced to six years in 2002 for a number of offenses committed over nearly 25 years.
Another former Newcastle player, Derek Bell, also claims he was abused by Ormond, during his spell at the club.

Fifteen police forces across England, Scotland and Wales are investigating allegations of historical child sex abuse within the football community.

On Tuesday, Chelsea said it had started an investigation into allegations concerning an individual who worked at the club during the 1970s but is now deceased.
England’s Football Association (FA) launched an internal investigation into the allegations last Sunday after more than 20 players came forward alleging abuse in their youth, according to England’s Professional Footballers Association (PFA).
The internal investigation — led by lawyer Kate Gallafent — will focus on what the FA and individual clubs knew at the time of the alleged abuses and “what action was or should have been taken,” the English governing body statement said.



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