British police investigate 1,400 child sex abuse suspects
British police said they are investigating more than 1,400 people suspected of sexual abuse of children in a growing scandal over official cover-ups dating back 50 years.
Simon Bailey, Operation Hydrant’s Chief Officer, said on Wednesday in London that the operation, which reviewed investigations of child sex abuse undertaken by regional police, had uncovered 1,433 suspects.
He said the suspects were mainly prominent personalities who worked in public institutions.
Bailey said 261 suspects were classified as “people of public prominence” adding that 216 of the 1,433 suspects were dead.
“The figures are stark and indicate the scale of child abuse the police is dealing with,’’ he said, adding that majority of the victims were abused by family members or friends.
Bailey said police nationwide had investigated 666 suspects linked to 357 institutions, including schools and children’s care homes.
“The prominent suspects include 76 local and national politicians.
“135 of the suspects worked in film, radio or television, 43 from the music industry and seven were sports personalities,’’ he said.
He said the investigations were prompted by a wave of accusations against public figures after investigation launched in Oct. 2012 showed widespread cover-up of child-sexual by radio and TV personality, Jimmy Savile.
Bailey said the allegations that Savile sexually abused children had circulated for more than a decade before his death in October 2011.