Cambridgeshire Police confirm multiple sexual abuse allegations received dating from 1969-90s as Peterborough United face investigation

Cambridgeshire Police say they have now received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in the county, which include Peterborough United and Cambridge United, which span from 1969 to the 1990s.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 3:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:45 pm
Peterborough United FC.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has this afternoon, Thursday December 1, said that 350 victim have now come forward across the UK to report child sexual abuse within football clubs.

Cambridgeshire Police said they could not confirm how many allegations had been received, but confirmed they did relate to both Peterborough United and Cambridge United and spanned up to 30 years.

A spokesman said: “We have received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire.

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“The allegations were received recently (the weekend of 26/27th) and are being looked into. They currently date from as early as 1969 to no later than the 1990s.”

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 said: “We are working closely with the Football Association to ensurethat the response to this significant and growing number of victims, atall levels of football, is co-ordinated effectively.

“We continue to encourage those who have been the victim of child sexual abuse to report it, regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place.

“We will listen and treat all reports sensitively and seriously. Anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse is also urged to come forward.

“When allegations are reported it enables police to assess whether there are current safeguarding risks and to ensure that appropriate action is taken to prevent children being abused today.”

The NSPCC also said it received more than 860 calls to a helpline in the week after it was launched on November 23.

The charity made triple the number of referrals to police or children’s services within the first three days than it did for the same period after opening its Jimmy Savile helpline in 2012.

The FA has commissioned a “dedicated NSPCC helpline for adults who were victims of sexual abuse in childhood within the football industry”, which can be contacted at all hours on 0800 023 2642.

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.

Mr Glenn said: “We’ve committed to a full review, shining the light on what happened in the past in football.

“We have clear rules in the game and if there’s any evidence of a breach of those - and hushing up would be one - subject to due process, the police need to be at the right place in this, when it’s our turn to apply the rules we absolutely will, regardless of size of club.”