Police chiefs have said that around 350 victims have reported child sexual abuse within UK football clubs, deepening the scandal that is currently rocking British football.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said on Thursday that a “significant number of calls” had been received after several former players reported sex abuse by coaches when they were children.
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According to the NSPCC, a hotline that was set up to help victims report the abuse had received 860 calls in its first week. Within the first three days of it’s launch the charity say they made more than 60 referrals to a range of agencies across the UK. The charity added that the figures were more than three times as many referrals as in the first three days of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
There are now 17 agencies, a quarter of the country’s police force, looking into allegations of historical child sex abuse by coaches according to the BBC. They include the Metropolitan Police, North Yorkshire Police, Police Scotland and Cheshire Police.
Press TV reports:
The scale of the abuse began to emerge last week after ex-footballers Paul Stewart, Steve Walters and Andy Woodward revealed the abuse they suffered at the hands of youth coaches.
The sexual allegations have been made against several coaches but have so far centered mainly on Barry Bennell, a youth coach with Manchester City.
Recent figures show the number of UK child sex abuse cases reported to police is dramatically on the rise, with cases being passed to police at a rate of 100 a month by the public inquiry set up following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Savile, a BBC radio and television presenter who died in 2011, was accused of numerous allegations of sexual abuse stretching back six decades.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in Britain was announced by then-UK Home Secretary Theresa May on July 7, 2014.