Metropolitan police have confirmed they are investigating 255 football sexual abuse claims among 77 London clubs with 5 clubs from the Premier League also included in the probe.
The accusations came after a series of former footballers spoke out following the decision of former Crewe defender Andy Woodward to waive his right to anonymity in an interview to state that he had been a victim of sexual abuse.
Woodward’s bravery when speaking of the abuse he suffered from the age of 11 by one of his coaches triggered a wave of allegations from other players across the country.
The latest figures, which only cover the capital, show the scale of sexual abuse in the United Kingdom and the amount of paedophiles operating at every level of the sport who have protected each other for decades to cover-up the diabolical acts with fear and control over victims from a young age.
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.
“Anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault should contact their local force, or call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 023 2642.
“The Met will not be giving a commentary as this investigation develops and is not discussing the names of the clubs involved, or the number of allegations against each club.”
For far too long, victims of sexual abuse have been silenced and ignored whilst enduring continuous trauma at the hands of the abusers who ruin the lives of the young before they can understand what is happening to them.
This historical child abuse ring being uncovered within the Premier league, the worlds elite footballing league has similar traits to the Jimmy Savile scandal which rocked the BBC after the ease he was allowed to operate within the BBC and many other establishments including children’s homes, hospitals and morgues.
The fact these claims may not only be against clubs, but coaches, managers, chairmen, staff members and doctors alike, again shows how widespread within professional workplaces abuse can be covered up, leaving the victims in pain and silence, leaving the abusers free to carry out such demonic attacks on helpless, talented young footballers.
Earlier in January, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which is running the nationwide police investigation Operation Hydrant, claimed more than 500 complainants and 184 potential suspects had been identified by police investigating football’s child sex abuse scandal.
A spokesman on the current claims against 77 London clubs for the Metropolitan Police said: “The allegations are connected with individuals at 77 named clubs or teams.
“The breakdown for those clubs is: five in the Premiership (Premier League), three against Championship clubs, three against clubs in Leagues One and Two and there have also been 66 other named clubs which would include non-league or non-professional or amateur teams.”
Over 240 clubs in the United Kingdom are now under investigation with Police confirming 100 extra clubs are now involved since the last update in December, with NSPCC also referring cases from 22 other sports to police operation.
Simon Bailey, chief constable, the NPCC lead for child protection, said: “Operation Hydrant is beginning to see a decrease in the number of referrals being received via the NSPCC helpline and directly to forces relating to allegations of abuse within football, and other sports.
“Allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse are complex and often require specialist skills and knowledge, and can take time to progress. However, all allegations and information received by police forces across the country are being acted upon.
“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.”