Another 10 politicians under investigation over alleged paedophilia as total rises to 99
By Tim Wood | 1 December 2015
“There was a risk that investigators were looking at the same individuals and institutions” – Simon Bailey, head of Operation Hydrant
Police are investigating 322 teachers across the UK over allegations of child sex abuse at institutions, new figures show.
In addition, 393 people from religious groups – and 218 care workers – are also under criminal investigation over claims of child sex abuse at institutions.
The figures were provided to Exaro by ‘Operation Hydrant’, which is co-ordinating police investigations across the UK into child sex abuse (CSA) at institutions or by “prominent” people.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which runs Operation Hydrant, also revealed that detectives are investigating another 10 elected officials over allegations of child sex abuse, bringing the total number of national or local politicians to 99.
A spokeswoman for the NPCC said: “Tackling child sexual exploitation is a priority for the police, and it is the responsibility of everyone to help spot the signs and say something.”
As Exaro revealed last month, police were investigating allegations of child sex abuse against 287 prominent people. That number has risen by another 15 to 302.
There are 147 from radio, TV and film, 39 from the music industry and 17 from the world of sport, according to Operation Hydrant. The total number of suspects under Operation Hydrant has risen to 2,228, of whom 286 are dead.
In total, 761 institutions are under police scrutiny, more than 12 per cent higher than the figure reported just last month. These include 288 schools, 204 children’s homes, 86 religious institutions, 39 health establishments, 25 prisons or young offenders’ institutes, 22 sports venues and 10 community institutions.
Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary and head of Operation Hydrant, said: “This is not just an issue for the police service. Wider society has an important part to play. This is particularly important because, by the time that police become aware of an offender, that offender has already committed offences, and a child has become a victim.
“There is great opportunity for our partners, for example, in health and education, and our communities – parents, carers, neighbours, friends – to be the eyes and ears, and spot the signs before the damage is done and a child is abused.”
He also said that Operation Hydrant had “deconflicted” 127 investigations nationally, meaning that it has co-ordinated two or more forces that are pursuing the same alleged perpetrator. Operation Hydrant nominates one force as the lead in such cases.
Bailey said: “Operation Hydrant was set up when it became apparent that forces around the country were investigating a significant number of non-recent allegations of sexual abuse that involved persons of public prominence or within institutions.
“There was a risk that investigators were looking at the same individuals and institutions and it was also clear that officers dealing with these complex cases required support and guidance.”
“We have made real changes to our approach. And it is my view that the increase in the scale of reported offences is a result of child-abuse victims having the confidence to speak out.”
Meanwhile, Exaro revealed on Friday how two former flatmates of a woman allegedly raped by the late Lord Brittan, former home secretary, in 1967 denied media reports that they “contradicted” her account to police.
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