England

Cheshire Police to probe abuse of 83 young footballers

Footballers legs Image copyright Thinkstock

More than 200 reports of historical sex abuse against 83 young footballers are being investigated by Cheshire police.

Cheshire Constabulary said it had identified three suspects since it started investigating in November.

The force is yet to confirm the number of Cheshire-based football clubs affected by the reports.

The news comes after the National Police Chiefs Council revealed on Wednesday it was had received 1,016 referrals UK-wide.

Child sex abuse claims - story so far

The ages of people making referrals in the national investigation range from four to 20.

Detectives in Cheshire said they would not confirm the identities of any suspects, victims or witnesses, or say which clubs are impacted.

In a statement, the force said the investigation is "extremely complex" and likely to take "some time."Force to probe abuse of 83 footballers

Child sex abuse in football

200+

reports of abuse in Cheshire

1,016

referrals to national operation from police forces and NSPCC helpline

  • 83 potential victims

  • 3 possible suspects

Thinkstock

People are due to make witness statements.

A specialist NSPCC hotline is available 24 hours a day on 0800 0232642.

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