1,400 investigated in relation to historic child sex abuse

The investigations included politicians and celebrities, while police project a huge rise in the number of child sex abuse incidents reported this year

Photo: Voisin/Phanie/Rex Features (Posed by model)

More than 1,400 suspects have been investigated by police in relation to historic child sexual abuse, while child abuse incidents are projected to have risen 71% in the last three years.

Police figures released today have shown that Operation Hydrant – the taskforce set up in 2014 to coordinate investigations into allegations of institutional child sex abuse or against people of public prominence – has investigated 76 politicians and 185 celebrities from the music, sport, film, TV and radio industries.

Rising incidents of child sexual abuse

The 1,433 investigations came against the backdrop of a projected 71% rise in incidents of child sexual abuse to police in the last three years.

According to police intelligence, a projected 113,291 incidents will occur in 2015, compared to 66,120 in 2012. Figures from 12 police forces in England and Wales were analysed, and the incidents were extrapolated across all 43 forces.

Recent cases of child sex abuse have risen 31%, while non-recent cases have risen 165%.

Massive challenge

Chief constable Simon Bailey, who established Operation Hydrant, said the figures are “stark”.

“We face a massive challenge in terms of resources, time and expertise, to balance offering routes to justice for those who suffered in the past while safeguarding and protecting children in a vulnerable position now,” Bailey said.

He added: “We cannot measure protecting children and the vulnerable by the number of arrests and prosecutions, the issue is much more complex. Everyone, teachers GPs, parents and other adults have a responsibility to spot the signs of abuse and act.”

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