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Operation Hydrant Statistics


Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 29 March 2018, 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 4956. This is comprising 4415 males, 387 females and 154 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.

3636 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.

Investigations in relation to 1320 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.

290 alleged suspects are classified as persons of public prominence (PPPs). PPP’s are only 6% of the total alleged suspects on Operation Hydrant’s database. These comprise:

  • 98 from TV, film, or radio
  • 79 are listed as politicians (these include local level politicians, not just national figures)
  • 39 are from the music industry
  • 24 are from the world of sport
  • 50 are PPP's of another description

Within the cumulative figure of 4956 alleged suspects, 686 are deceased.

The total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database is 6224, comprising 4612 males, 1576 females and 36 of unknown sex.

2518 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These comprise:
975 schools

  • 529 children’s homes
  • 298 sport
  • 267 religious institutions
  • 175 children and young people’s associations & clubs
  • 99 health establishments
  • 175 ‘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 suspects 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 831 deconflictions as a direct consequence of reports it has received from forces and third parties.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Child Protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said:

“We were shocked, as a society, to see the scale of potential child sexual abuse in football when allegations began to emerge in November 2016 and investigations are ongoing.

“A small number of high profile cases involving people of public prominence get most focus but form just 6 per cent of the reports to police. Reports are most commonly about abuse in schools or children’s homes – places where children should expect to be safe.

“Investigations into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse are more complex than recent allegations – victims and suspects may span force geographical borders, the forensic opportunities so relied on today may be extremely limited if they even exist, memories fade, places change purpose, name, and appearance, and people move on.

“Despite all these challenges, we are seeing many convictions of people who held a position of power, trust, and influence, but used it to abuse the children they should have been safeguarding.

“The Bennell case and allegations within football, reminds us that people may go a long time without reporting to police or may never do so at all. It is important we continue to listen to the voices of those abused and investigate allegations thoroughly and impartially, regardless of when the offence took place.”

Previous statistics - 31/12/2017
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