Operation Hydrant Statistics
Breakdown of investigations up to and including 31 December 2020
Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 31 September 2020, 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 7970. This comprises 7248 males, 563 females and 159 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.
2209 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.
Within the cumulative figure of 7970 alleged suspects, 1366 are deceased.
232 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
- 46 are listed as politicians (including both national and local)
- 34 are from the music industry
- 30 are from the world of sport
Investigations in relation to 5761 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 13,676. Of those:
- 6802(49%) resulted in no further action by police, which include, but are not limited to:
33% Suspect decease
22% Suspect not identified/traced
18% Victim does not support police action
9% Insufficient detail/evidence
- 4483 (33%) allegations resulted in conviction at court
- 1532 (11%) allegations resulted in no further action by CPS
- 851 (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 10,836, comprising 7371 males, 3456 females and 9 of unknown sex.
Cumulatively the total number of victims on the Operation Hydrant database continues to increase every quarter; however, during 2020 the rate of reporting has fallen. Further work to identify the reasons behind this, such as the impact of Covid-19, will be undertaken.
4688 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These include, but are not limited to:
- 1872 Educational
- 736 Children’s homes
- 545 Religious institutions
- 447 Sport
- 435 Children & young people’s associations & clubs
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 1598 deconfliction requests from forces and third parties. As a result of these requests, 4124 checks (offenders, victims, locations) have been carried out across the Operation Hydrant database. Of these, 23% are considered positive deconflictions meaning more than one force has identified allegations against one offender.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Child Protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said:
"This year marks an important milestone - the tenth anniversary of Jimmy Savile’s death, which resulted in forces seeing a surge in reports of non-recent child sexual abuse. Ten years on, we are still seeing many victims and survivors reporting non-recent child sexual abuse every quarter.
"By their nature, non-recent child sexual abuse cases are more complex to investigate due to reduced forensic opportunities, witness testimony and victims and suspects spanning force geographical borders.
"Regardless of these challenges, the current number of reported allegations against suspects relating to Operation Hydrant criteria, which have had a final outcome, such as no further action, caution, acquittal or conviction, is 13,676. Of those crime reports, 4,483 have resulted in a conviction, which equates to 33 percent. Despite the ongoing delays in the criminal justice system due to COVID-19, it is encouraging to see suspects being brought to justice for abusing their position of power, trust and influence over the children they should have been safeguarding.
"We know that victims of non-recent child sexual abuse often do not come forward for years after the offences were committed because they fear or they have been have been told they will not be believed. It is important victims know, when they take the hugely difficult decision to report to police, that they will be treated with empathy and respect. From there an impartial and proportionate investigation will follow.
"I have welcomed the recently published Home Office Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy, which commits to preventing, tackling and responding to all forms of child sexual abuse. The Government’s approach is rightly victim- centred, focusing on understanding and raising awareness of the significant life impact of child sexual abuse upon the individual, of taking the opportunity to gain insight into the impact of trauma on memory, and the commitment to ensure victims and survivors have access to the support, which is right for them.
"It is crucial we continue to listen to the voices of those abused and investigate allegations thoroughly and impartially, irrespective of when the offence took place."
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