Operation Hydrant Statistics
Breakdown of investigations up to and including 31 December 2019
Statistics released by Operation Hydrant provide an indicative national figure, up to and including the 31 December 2019 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 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 7000. This comprises 6304 males, 503 females and 193 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.
2553 alleged suspects remain subject to live investigations.
239 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:
- 60 from TV, film, or radio
- 44 are listed as politicians (including both national and local)
- 31 are from the music industry
- 30 are from the world of sport
Investigations in relation to 4447 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 11,346. Of those:
- 5284 (47%) resulted in no further action by police, which include, but are not limited to:
o 36% Suspect deceased
o 22% Suspect not identified/traced
o 17% Victim does not support police action
o 9% Insufficient detail/evidence
- 4024 (35%) allegations resulted in conviction at court
- 1313 (12%) allegations resulted in no further action by CPS
- 719 (6%) allegations resulted in acquittal at court
- 6 (<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 9343, comprising 6447 males, 2872 females and 24 of unknown sex.
3960 different institutions feature on the Operation Hydrant database. These include, but are not limited to:
- 1563 Educational
- 681 Children’s homes
- 443 Religious institutions
- 387 Sport
- 353 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 1355 deconfliction requests from forces and third parties. As a result of these requests, 3212 checks (offenders, victims, locations) have been carried out across the Operation Hydrant database. Of these, 27% 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:
“Nationally, we are still seeing an increase in victims and survivors reporting non-recent child sexual abuse every quarter.
"Abuse within institutions such as schools and children’s homes continue to have the highest number of reports related to them, despite high profile cases involving persons of public prominence (PPPs) receiving the most focus in the media. Cases involving PPP’s form just three percent of the reports to police.
"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 11,346. Of those crime reports, 4,024 have resulted in a conviction, which equates to 35 percent. Although, we cannot compare these numbers to national crime statistics, 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.
"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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Previous statistics - 31 December 2018
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Previous statistics - 30 June 2017