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Operation Hydrant Statistics



Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 28 June 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 on-going, meaning that figures provided may fluctuate.

The total number of alleged suspects notified to Operation Hydrant since its inception in 2014 totals 5301. This is comprising 4719 males, 410 females and 172 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.

3739 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.

Investigations in relation to 1562 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.

277 alleged suspects are classified as persons of public prominence (PPPs). PPP’s are only 5% of the total alleged suspects on Operation Hydrant’s database. These include:

  • 90 from TV, film, or radio
  • 71 are listed as politicians (including both national and local)
  • 38 are from the music industry
  • 26 are from the world of sport

Within the cumulative figure of 5301 alleged suspects, 797 are deceased.

The total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database is 6783, comprising 4930 males, 1814 females and 39 of unknown sex.

2750 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These include:

  • 1087 schools
  • 505 children’s homes
  • 318 sport
  • 301 religious institutions
  • 199 children & young people’s associations & clubs
  • 120 health establishments

Operation Hydrant is informed by forces of investigations meeting the Operation Hydrant criteria and then co-ordinates the information to prevent duplication. This is called ‘de-confliction’.

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 ‘de-conflict’– 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 910 de-conflictions 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:

“Reports of non-recent child sexual abuse continue to increase. More and more victims are having the confidence to come forward, which means we are seeing a steady upward trend of reports of abuse - highlighting institutions such as schools and children’s homes to have the highest numbers of reports related to them. Every police force in the country has an investigation relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse ongoing.

“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.

“A small number of high profile cases involving people of public prominence get most focus in the media, but form just 5 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.

“Every week there are cases in court which remind us that people may go a long time without reporting. 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 - 30 March 2018

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