Local News & Archive — November 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm — Updated: November 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm

North Wales Police probe football child abuse claims

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An investigation has been launched into claims of historical child sex abuse within youth football in North Wales.

North Wales Police said on Wednesday morning it had become the latest force investigating allegations within youth setups, in the wake of claims from over twenty former players at clubs across the UK.

The force said it had received several reports involving clubs in the region and was working closely with Operation Hydrant to provide a ‘coordinated and efficent’ response to the allegations.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Williams appealed for anyone who had also been the victim of child sex abuse to come forward: ”The people who have courageously reported what happened to them are central in our considerations in this regard…they will be listened to, taken seriously and a thorough investigation will take place.”

North Yorkshire Police have also launched their own investigation, alongside nine other forces including Cheshire and Greater Manchester. An NSPCC hotline for sex abuse victims has received over a hundred calls since it launched a week ago.

The Professional Footballers’ Association says at least six or seven clubs are linked to allegations made about individuals.

On Tuesday, convicted ex-coach Barry Bennell was charged with eight counts of sexually assaulting a teenage boy during the early 1980s. The former Crewe Alexandra coach will appear before South Cheshire magistrates next month.

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