Statement on non-recent child sexual abuse in football

Published 29 November 2016

Following ongoing, widespread publicity surrounding reports of non-recent child sexual abuse within footballing, Police Scotland along with many police forces across the UK has received a number of calls, both reporting further allegations and offering information. This is in addition to the calls being received by the dedicated NSPCC helpline.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, Police Scotland Public Protection, said: "We will continue to work with partners, including the National Police Chief's 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.

"We appreciate that sometimes finding a safe place to first talk about experiences helps eventual disclosure and would encourage anybody who feels this would assist to contact a support organisation. Details of such organisations can be accessed via 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. Where reports are made, we will assess any current risks and ensure appropriate action is taken.

"If you suspect someone is being abused, please contact Police Scotland on 101." 

You can also contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can call Childline on 0800 1111.

Contact Details

Call 101 for non-emergencies and general policing matters, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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