Football sex abuse: Met Police launches investigation

Boys playing football Image copyright Thinkstock

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse in football at clubs in London.

A dedicated team of officers from the Met's sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command will work alongside Operation Hydrant.

Hundreds of people have reported abuse to UK police so far, the National Police Chief's Council said.

The Met is not discussing the number of allegations or the clubs involved.

Det Ch Supt Ivan Balhatchet from the Met said the force takes allegations seriously and they "will be dealt with sensitively".

"Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whatever the circumstances, or has any relevant information, should contact their local police or the NSPCC," he added.

Football clubs across the UK have been implicated in a growing number of child sex abuse allegations.

Child sex abuse claims - story so far

The Met's announcement comes as the Football Association has been criticised for "dismissing" concerns about sexual abuse in football when they emerged in the 1990s.

A dedicated football abuse hotline set up by the NSPCC, and supported by the FA, received more than 860 calls in the first week after it was launched on 23 November.

The phone line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.

Police forces investigating allegations:

  • North Wales
  • North Yorkshire
  • Dorset
  • Staffordshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Hampshire
  • Cheshire
  • Northumbria
  • Metropolitan
  • Police Scotland
  • Avon and Somerset
  • Essex
  • Norfolk
  • Derbyshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Devon and Cornwall
  • South Wales
  • Dyfed-Powys
  • West Midlands
  • PSNI

Kent Police said it has received reports of "non-recent child abuse within the football community" in Kent, which it is "currently reviewing".

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