Around 350 people report child sex abuse in football

Around 350 victims have come forward to report child sexual abuse within football clubs, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) has said.

The number comes from information supplied by forces across the UK to Operation Hydrant, set up in 2014 to oversee investigations into historical child sex abuse concerning prominent people.

It also includes referrals from the children's charity the NSPCC's dedicated football abuse hotline. It said earlier today that it was getting almost treble the rate of calls compared to the response over the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The NPCC said police forces across the country had received a "significant" number of calls, both reporting further allegations and offering information.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the NPCC's lead for child protection, said the number of victims was "an indicative figure only", and that with information still being collated numbers could change.

He added that police were working closely with the Football Association to coordinate their response to "this significant and growing number of victims".

He added that allegations also allowed police to assess whether any children might be currently at risk and to take appropriate action in response.

Allegations of abuse are being recorded and investigated local to the area where each allegation was made, the NPCC said.

More than a quarter of UK police forces are now probing allegations of historical child sex abuse in football.

FA boss Martin Glenn said on Thursday that he believed it unlikely there was an organised attempt to "cover up" sexual abuse in the game but has promised to punish any club found guilty of doing so "regardless of size".

He promised the FA's independent review would, alongside the police investigation, be looking into reports that some clubs may have paid off alleged victims in return for their silence.