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Operation Hydrant Statistics


Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 28 September, 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 on the Operation Hydrant database is 4783, comprising 4214 males, 387 females and 182 of unknown sex.

4783 are suspects whose profession afforded them a position of trust including, but not definitive, within education, care, faith and youth clubs.

The 4783 alleged suspects includes 919 who are classified as unknown/unidentified – for example, this may be someone who is identified by profession but not by name.

359 suspects are classified as persons of public prominence (PPPs). These comprise:

  • 153 from the TV, film, or radio
  • 92 are listed as politicians (these include local level politicians, not just national figures)
  • 52 are from the music industry
  • 25 are from the sport
  • 37 are PPP's of another description

Within the 4783, 583 are deceased suspects.

The total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database is 5438, comprising 4061 males, 1338 females and 39 of unknown sex.

2366 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These comprise:

  • 908schools
  • 507 children’s homes
  • 234 religious institutions
  • 278 sport
  • 135 children & young people’s associations & clubs
  • 105 health establishments
  • 41 prison/young offenders institutes
  • 158 ‘other’ institutions (military, community, places of entertainment, hotels/guest houses, 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 712 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 now have much greater 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 of abuse, some into abuse that happened many years ago, and are making decisions about guilt and innocence. Last week the Crown Prosecution Service reported an 82 per cent increase in prosecutions for child sexual abuse in the last decade and convictions have increased by 15 per cent in the last year.

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