Scotland

Police study Scottish football abuse claims

Young footballer, generic image Image copyright Thinkstock

Police Scotland has confirmed its officers have received reports of historic child abuse within football.

It has become the latest UK force to investigate the claims, first raised by former players in England.

A UK-wide hotline has dealt with more than 250 reports in just one week since it launched.

A senior Scottish officer confirmed that the force is working with partners, including the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

In a statement, a Police Scotland spokesman said: "We can confirm we have received reports in connection with non-recent child abuse within football.

"We are working with both Operation Hydrant and the NSPCC to ensure there is a co-ordinated UK police response.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further."

Operation Hydrant

Det Ch Supt Lesley Boal added: "We will continue to work with partners, including the National Police Chiefs Council through Operation Hydrant, the Scottish Football Association and the NSPCC to ensure a co-ordinated police response is in place and that we maintain an accurate picture of child abuse investigations.

"Speaking out about any form of child abuse is incredibly difficult and disclosures are often made many years after an incident took place.

"Police Scotland will listen to any such disclosure, regardless of the passage of time, and will investigate as well as work with partner organisations who have access to advocacy and support during the process of disclosure and investigation."

The police pointed out that a range of organisations can be contacted through Survivor Scotland.

"Keeping children and young people safe is a top priority for Police Scotland and everyone has a role to play in protecting the country's children," said Supt Boal. "Where reports are made, we will assess any current risks and ensure appropriate action is taken."

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