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Operation Hydrant Statistics


Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 31 December 2017, in relation to investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse involving an institution, organisation or a person of public prominence. The figures are accurate at the time of publication but may change as forces progress local investigations and as the information offered is further analysed.

Operation Hydrant collates this information, cross references it to avoid duplication of investigation and ensures information and intelligence is shared across forces. The process of operational coordination is complex and detailed, and remains ongoing, meaning that figures provided may fluctuate.

The total number of alleged suspects notified to Operation Hydrant since its inception in 2014 totals 4801. This is comprising 4254 males, 382 females and 165 of unknown sex. Where suspects are classified as unknown/unidentified– this may be, for example, someone who is identified by profession but not by name. 3867 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.

Investigations in relation to 934 alleged suspects are closed. A closed investigation is any investigation which has an outcome such as, no further action (NFA) by police, NFA by the Crown Prosecution Service, acquitted, convicted or cautioned.

338 alleged suspects are classified as persons of public prominence (PPPs). PPP’s are only 7% of the total alleged suspects on Operation Hydrant’s database. These comprise:

  • 139 from TV, film, or radio
  • 81 are listed as politicians (these include local level politicians, not just national figures)
  • 49 are from the music Industry
  • 25 are from sport
  • 44 are PPP's of another description

Within the cumulative figure of 4801 alleged suspects, 631 are deceased.

The total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database is 5740, comprising 4267 males, 1433 females and 40 of unknown sex.

2470 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These comprise:

  • 954 schools
  • 516 children’s homes
  • 293 sport
  • 242 religious institutions
  • 148 children & young people’s associations & clubs
  • 104 health establishments
  • 213 ‘other’ institutions (prison/young offenders institutions, military, place of entertainment etc.)

Operation Hydrant is informed by forces of investigations meeting the Operation Hydrant criteria, and then coordinates the information to prevent duplication. This is called ‘deconfliction’.

As forces started to capture the surge in adults reporting being sexually abused as a child, it quickly became apparent that victims were reporting being sexually abused as children by multiple offenders and in different geographical areas. There was real potential for duplication as forces commenced investigations, and the purpose of Operation Hydrant is to provide operational coordination and “deconflict”– to remove duplication by cross referencing accounts from victims and witnesses, identifying where forces had different allegations against one offender, and bringing those forces together to agree primacy and collaborative working going forward. This operational coordination function also allows for the sharing of intelligence and information.

Operation Hydrant has undertaken 774 deconflictions as a direct consequence of reports it has received from forces and third parties.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, NPCC lead for Child Protection said:

“The latest published statistics show reports of non-recent child sexual abuse continue to rise. These cases are complex and challenging to investigate but the increase in reporting of them is a sign that victims of abuse continue to have confidence that police will take their allegations seriously and investigate thoroughly and impartially.

While a very small number of high profile cases about famous people receive most attention, these make up just over 7 per cent of non-recent allegations being considered. The majority of police caseload is reports of abuse at schools, children's homes, clubs or religious institutions - places where children should expect to be safe.

Every week across the country juries are hearing evidence from police investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse, some into abuse that happened many years ago, and are making decisions about guilt and innocence. Regardless of when the offence took place, victims and survivors can report to the police with the knowledge that they will be listened to and taken seriously.

Police forces decision-making when investigating allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse is based on their assessment of risk and proportionality while respecting their responsibility for fairness to those who report abuse and those who are accused."

Previous statistics - 28/09/2017
Previous statistics - 01/10/2016
Previous statistics - 31/12/2016
Previous statistics - 18/04/2017
Previous statistics - 30 June 2017