Police report sex abuse claims involving six football coaches on south coast of England


The historical sex abuse scandal unfolding in British football continued to widen with a south coast police force becoming the latest to confirm it has received allegations.

Sussex Police said six separate reports have been made of sex offences allegedly committed in the county by six different football coaches.

None of the six reports relate to either of Sussex’s most senior clubs – Brighton and Hove Albion or Crawley Town. Football teams across the country have been implicated in the growing scandal gripping the sport.

A total of 98 clubs across the country and spanning all tiers of the game have been “impacted”, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said this month.

The disclosure of another police force becoming involved comes days after it emerged that the NSPCC’s hotline for those affected by historical sex abuse in football received more than 1,700 calls in three weeks.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “As of December 13 we have received six separate reports, since this November, that non-recent sexual offences have been committed in Sussex by six separate football coaches.

“Each report is being assessed by staff in our public protection department. We will not be releasing any further information about any of the reports at this time.”

The spokesman added: “When allegations are reported, police can also make an assessment of any safeguarding risks and take appropriate action where necessary.

“None of the six reports relate to either of the two Sussex clubs in the Football League.”

The force said anyone affected by such offences can call police on 101 and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced detectives.

The Metropolitan Police revealed last week that they were looking at more than 106 claims of abuse related to 30 clubs, including four Premier League teams.

And the Scottish Football Association has followed the FA’s lead in setting up an independent review of its response to historic sex abuse allegations.

Ministers met police forces, sports bodies and the NSPCC on Wednesday to address the scandal and ensure that clubs have “robust” safeguarding procedures in place, Sports Secretary Karen Bradley said last week.

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