Operation Hydrant Statistics
Breakdown of investigations up to and including 30 September 2021
Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 30 September 2021, in relation to investigations into non-recent child sexual abuse involving an institution, organisation or a person of public prominence.
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 these figures are accurate at the time of publication. Moreover, the statistics are based on data provided by forces in relation to Operation Hydrant criteria offences and it is important to note that these may fluctuate as forces progress local investigations and as the information offered is further analysed. It is recommended that this document is read in conjunction with ‘Operation Hydrant Quarterly Stat Slides’ to provide further context.
The total number of alleged suspects notified to Operation Hydrant since its inception in 2014 totals 8797. This comprises 8044 males, 592 females and 161 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.
1747 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.
Within the cumulative figure of 8797 alleged suspects, 1523 are deceased.
229 alleged suspects are classified as Persons of Public Prominence (PPPs). PPP’s are only 3% of the total alleged suspects on Operation Hydrant’s database. These include, but are not limited to:
- 50 from TV, film, or radio
- 37 are listed as politicians (including both national and local)
- 36 are from the world of sport
- 27 are from the music industry
Investigations in relation to 7050 alleged suspects are closed. A closed investigation is any investigation, which has a final outcome such as, no further action (NFA) by police, NFA by the Crown Prosecution Service, caution, acquittal or conviction.
Since 2015, the current number of reported allegations against suspects relating to Operation Hydrant criteria, which have had a final outcome is 15,868. Of those:
- 8014 (51%) resulted in no further action by police, which include, but are not limited to:
o 31% Suspect deceased
o 21% Suspect not identified/traced
o 21% Victim does not support police action
o 9% Insufficient detail/evidence
- 5242 (33%) allegations resulted in conviction at court
- 1661 (10%) allegations resulted in no further action by CPS
- 942 (6%) allegations resulted in acquittal at court
- 9 (<1%) allegations resulted in a caution
It is important to note that these outcome figures cannot be compared to national crime statistics and some suspects are subject to more than one final outcome type and will therefore be counted more than once.
The total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database is 11,931, comprising 7947 males, 3976 females and 8 of unknown sex.
5362 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These include, but are not limited to:
- 2246 Educational
- 772 Children’s homes
- 622 Religious institutions
- 515 Children and young people’s associations and clubs
- 488 Sport
Operation Hydrant is informed by police forces of investigations meeting the Operation Hydrant criteria and then co-ordinates 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 there was potential for duplication as victims were reporting multiple offenders across different geographical areas. The purpose of Operation Hydrant is to provide operational coordination and deconfliction, to remove this duplication by cross-referencing accounts from victims and witnesses, identifying where forces have different allegations against one offender. It also brings those forces together to agree primacy and collaborative working going forward and allows for the sharing of intelligence and information.
To date, Operation Hydrant has received 1785 deconfliction requests from forces and third parties. As a result of these requests, 4782 checks (offenders, victims, locations) have been carried out across the Operation Hydrant database. Of these, 21% are considered positive deconflictions meaning more than one force has identified allegations against one offender.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Child Protection, Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley QPM said:
“October marked the tenth year since the death of Jimmy Saville, which was a watershed moment leading to a huge surge of adult victims and survivors finding the voice to speak about the abuse they had suffered, not just by celebrities but also those in positions of power.
“The policing approach in this area has changed significantly over the last 10 years, and it really is encouraging to see that victim confidence has been maintained and enhanced, with a steady upward trend in the number of victims and survivors coming forward to report the abuse they have been subjected to.”
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