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Child Sex Abuse Investigation Identifies More Than 1,400 Suspects, Including 76 Politicians

There has also been a stark rise in the number of incidents being reported.

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Police officers investigating historical allegations of child sex abuse have identified more than 1,400 suspects, including 76 politicians.

Tim Ireland / PA WIRE

The figures were released by Operation Hydrant, which was set up by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) in the summer of 2014 to look at "non-recent child sex abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence".

On Wednesday it was revealed that Operation Hydrant has so far received reports involving 1,433 suspects – 216 of whom are dead.

The NPCC said in a statement that 261 of the identified suspects were classified as people of public prominence – 135 of whom came from the worlds of film, TV or radio.

The 76 politicians mentioned come from both a national and local level.

There are also 43 suspects from the music industry and seven from the world of sport.

Operation Hydrant also said 357 institutions had been named, including 154 schools and 75 children's homes.

Simon Bailey, chief constable of Norfolk Police, said in the statement: "Operation Hydrant has been established to help senior investigating officers across the country to work together to ensure that these complex investigations are successfully managed and that best practice is identified and shared with frontline staff."

The NPCC's child protection and abuse investigations working group also examined data from 12 forces across England and Wales, looking at their caseload of child sexual abuse incidents from 2012 to the first quarter of 2015, then extrapolated the figures across all 43 forces.

It predicted that the number of incidents reported will rise from 66,000 in 2012 to 113,000 this year. The number of recent cases had risen by 31%, while non-recent cases had risen by 165%.

Bailey said police were dealing with more and more allegations since TV presenter Jimmy Savile was revealed to be a serial sex offender after his death, the BBC reported.

Peter Jordan / EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

He added in the statement: "These figures are stark. They indicate the scale of child abuse police are dealing with.

"Much public and media focus has been on horrors committed by well-known personalities, groups, gangs or in institutions, but the vast majority of victims are abused by family members or friends.

"We cannot measure protecting children and the vulnerable by the number of arrests and prosecutions, the issue is much more complex. Everyone, teachers, GPs, parents and other adults have a responsibility to spot the signs of abuse and act."

Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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