Football sex abuse in England

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Football sex abuse in England

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:07 am

Has the can of worms opened?
Football sex abuse claims: Police widen their inquiries

Four police forces say they are now investigating allegations of historical child sex abuse within football.
Hampshire Police said it was looking into claims of "non-recent child abuse within the football community".
Cheshire Police says allegations have been made against more than one person while the Northumbria and Metropolitan forces have also opened investigations.

It comes as four ex-footballers spoke out about being abused as children by ex-Crewe Alexandra coach Barry Bennell.
Andy Woodward, who was the first to go public last week, wept as Steve Walters, Chris Unsworth and Jason Dunford spoke about their abuse by Bennell in an emotional interview on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.
Bennell, 62, has served three jail sentences for child sex offences.

Victoria spoke to (L-R) Jason Dunford, Steve Walters, Chris Unsworth and Andy Woodward
The Premier League said it was concerned by the allegations and urged those with information to come forward.
MP Damian Collins, the chairman of the culture, media and sport committee, told the BBC he wants to hear from the Football Association.

He said: "The FA need to look back to see were mistakes made in the past. Were clues overlooked? Was not enough done to investigate a problem that they may have been perceived?"

Mr Unsworth and Mr Dunford waived their anonymity to speak out for the first time on Friday.
Mr Unsworth, 44, said he "thought he had to come forward... and help everybody", after his girlfriend showed him an interview on the Victoria Derbyshire programme with ex-Crewe player Mr Woodward, 43.
He had been a youth player at Manchester City with Bennell before moving to Crewe with him when he was about 12 in the mid-1980s.

Mr Unsworth said he had stayed at Bennell's house several times and the coach sometimes had two or three boys in the bed at once, where he would abuse them.
"We never spoke to each other about it," Mr Unsworth said. "I was raped between 50 and 100 times."
Mr Dunford said he had been staying at a Butlins holiday camp after winning a football competition, when Bennell attempted to touch him in bed.
He later moved to different boys' football teams and said at one point another coach also attempted to abuse him.
Mr Dunford has now given a report to the police.
Neither player turned professional, in part because they felt Bennell drove them away from the game.

Jason Dunford said another coach also tried to abuse him
Bennell, who also worked as a youth football scout, was jailed in 1998 for nine years and also served a four-year sentence in the United States.
In 2015, he was given a two-year term for sexually abusing a boy at a training camp in Macclesfield, but is now out of prison.
Cheshire Police said 11 people had come forward since Mr Woodward spoke out, including fellow ex-Crewe player Steve Walters, 44, who said he had been abused by Bennell, when he was 13 or 14, during a trip to Anglesey.
He told Victoria Derbyshire: "I want justice now. The whole of football just needs ripping apart and this can never, ever happen to any young footballer again."
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by dtaai-maai » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:14 am

Bamboo Grove wrote:Has the can of worms opened?
Awful as this business is, I don't really understand why it's being treated as a revelation. Bennell was convicted of abuse in the USA in the early 90s, served 3 (?) years and was then deported to the UK where he was convicted of further offences and sentenced to 8 years. He was convicted of yet another offence last year, sentenced to 2 years, and is now out on licence.

It's a can of worms that was opened over 20 years ago, only it seems that everyone slammed the lid back down until now...
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by pharvey » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:24 am

No doubt there has been instances of abuse - has been proven previously. However once again we have a barrage of cases coming forward after one or two claims in the media - why after so long?

I have a great deal of sympathy for anyone that has been abused and those guilty should be severely punished, but truly hope there are not going to be those jumping on the band wagon with false accusations and ruining lives the other way around......... As has been done many times before in the recent past. They should also be punished..... severely.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by caller » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:19 pm

Importantly, lots of safeguards are in place now as one of those who came forward, who is now a coach, has said.

So many parts of society have been affected by this and it's worth acknowledging, that rightly or wrongly, the trust that was abused in days of old, whether it be teachers, akela's, some celebrities, ordinary people, took place in a different culture, that has now been well documented, so it's no surprise this happened in football as well.

On saying that, the beeb, in particular, has been milking this for all it's PC worth, even having it as the lead story on their World news at one stage, which it hardly is. But they seem keen to do everything OTT in this field, having virtually endorsed Savile's actions.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:25 pm

Unfortunately, the main safeguard only works if the offender has been caught previously. It does not work for first time offenders - or are we talking something other than DBS/CRB checks?
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by caller » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:15 pm

Big Boy wrote:Unfortunately, the main safeguard only works if the offender has been caught previously. It does not work for first time offenders - or are we talking something other than DBS/CRB checks?
I wouldn't regard a CRB check as any sort of safeguard, for anything, personally. I thought those working with children now had to go through various stringent checks. I don't know what the DBS check entails.
Last edited by caller on Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:21 pm

AFAIK, those are the only checks my son's coaches ever went through. I am not aware of anything better.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:35 pm

Maybe one of our UK members can tell what checks are carried out now - I'm almost 5 years out of date.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by caller » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:48 pm

Big Boy wrote:I am not aware of anything better.
What we used to call enhanced vetting. It's too easy in the UK to legally change your name by deed poll. A CRB check on it's own will not stop anyone determined to abuse kids getting a job working with them (I've just looked at the DBS and it goes further than a CRB check, but not by much). Any responsible employer could undertake certain enhanced checks, but only with the applicants personal authorisation (data protection), which should be made a requirement if they are successful in their application, no authorisation given = no job. But this can't really be expected of voluntary organisations.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:56 pm

caller wrote:Importantly, lots of safeguards are in place
Let me phrase it differently then. Regardless of what is in place in the UK, AFAIK nothing is mandatory/enforced.

My son still keeps in touch with some of his sporting colleagues, and there are definitely sports involving children in the UK where no safeguards are in place. Some groups do it voluntarily, but others do absolutely nothing.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by caller » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:04 am

To be honest, I was mainly going by one of the guy's who has waved his anonymity and is himself a coach and what he said, but having looked, I can't find much, but I find it hard to believe that top clubs don't have their own processes and checks in place. The prescribed checks cover everyone working with young people and aren't really much to be honest, but perhaps there are 'best practice guides' around that aren't publicised. Always a balancing act as to how much you put in the public domain, if such info helps those that want to work around such systems.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:45 am

OK, this thread is about football, and top class at that, but any checks should be across the board. I would think an abuser would find it easier to become a coach at a back street sports club than a top notch football club.

I know rugby brought in the need for CRB checks across the board for kids about 12 years ago. The coaches were not allowed to coach at my son's club until clearance had been obtained, which took several weeks.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by caller » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:33 am

Seriously BB, what is the point of a CRB check if the identity of the person you want checked hasn't really be verified? The most determined to do their worst will do whatever they can to hide their background, that's why I said it would be easier for clubs to do this, I'm sure in this day and age there will be all sorts of vetting agencies out there that can be used, but how can smaller organisations afford that?

Now okay, I'm coming from a background of Govt. where we had the resources to undertake such checks and we even found our very own peado (from abroad, but working in the UK - free movement, eh?), but it did open your eyes to the lengths people went to, even to those that had some experience in these matters (not talking about kiddy fiddlers here).
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Big Boy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:53 am

The point to this is being PC and being seen to be doing something, and a revenue income for actually doing very little.
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Re: Football sex abuse in England

Post by Zidane » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:16 pm

This story is growing and growing.From one footballer saying he suffered abuse at Crewe Alexandra as a youngster years ago to many ex players now coming forward to say they were abused by coaches.
How many of these stories are valid remains to be seen but there is evidence that many are.
Clubs implicated,so far,include Newcastle,Manchester City,Chelsea,Southampton,Blackpool and Crewe Alexandra.
Chelsea have admitted they paid 50k GBP to an ex player as compensation but there is nothing to suggest that the club knew the abuse that was going on.
Some coaches have been jailed in the past for child abuse and others have since died.

Football abuse: from one lone voice to a national scandal(The Guardian)
Two weeks after Andy Woodward told of his sexual abuse as a young player, English football faces the worst crisis in its history.
It began with the former footballer Andy Woodward bravely stepping out of the shadows to describe to the Guardian the sexual abuse he endured as a young player. Two weeks on it has spiralled into a scandal engulfing clubs and communities across the UK.
By Friday, 18 police forces were investigating leads from at least 350 alleged victims, the NSPCC children’s charity was processing almost 1,000 reports to a hotline and one of the world’s most famous clubs, Chelsea, was facing questions about whether it had tried to hush up abuse allegations.
All those involved – police, football administrators, players and their relatives, children’s charities, lawyers – are convinced it will not end here.
Two players at Newcastle United were among those who came forward this week. Derek Bell told the Guardian how he was groomed and violated between the ages of 12 and 16 by the convicted paedophile George Ormond, his coach at the Montagu and North Fenham boys football club.
Ormond went on to become involved in youth coaching at Newcastle, where he abused player David Eatock, during the Kevin Keegan years in the 1990s. “I can still remember the look on his [Ormond’s] face, how terrifying it was, and how his eyes were possessed,” Eatock told the Guardian.
The former England, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur player Paul Stewart described in harrowing detail how he was abused by the late Frank Roper, a well known youth coach in the north-west of England.
“He said he would kill my mother, my father, my two brothers if I breathed a word about it,” said Stewart. “And at 11 years old, you believe that.”
Individual clubs including Newcastle, Manchester City and Crewe have launched inquiries into how they handled allegations of abuse, or coaches who had turned out to be offenders.
On Tuesday, the former coach Barry Bennell was charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy under the age of 14. The offences allegedly took place between 1981 and 1985.
The Football Association has launched an independent review, which will be led by the barrister Kate Gallafent QC, who specialises in human rights and sport.
The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, described it as one of the biggest crises in the organisation’s history. Asked about claims that clubs may have tried to bribe players to stay silent about their abuse, he described the concept as “morally repugnant”. He has promised that any club guilty of “hushing up” sexual abuse to protect their image will be punished.
That promise may be tested after the Daily Mirror revealed that the former Chelsea player Gary Johnson signed a confidentiality agreement with the club in 2015 in return for £50,000 after he alleged he was abused by the club’s then chief scout Eddie Heath in the 1970s.
“I think that they were paying me to keep a lid on this,” he told the Mirror. “Millions of fans around the world watch Chelsea. They are one of the biggest and richest clubs in the world. All their fans deserve to know the truth about what went on. I know they asked me to sign a gagging order and how many others are there out there?”
Chelsea has refused to comment on the details of the allegations, only saying that it has appointed an external law firm to carry out a formal investigation into a former employee, and would pass those findings on to the FA.
On Friday, Southampton, a club renowned for its youth system, said it had contacted the police after receiving information in relation to historical child abuse. It followed BBC interviews with two former players, Dean Radford and Jamie Webb, who said they were groomed and abused by a former club employee.
Police chiefs said there was no sign of any let up in the reports of abuse. By the end of the week Greater Manchester police said it had identified 10 suspects after receiving reports from 35 victims. The priority for forces was to assess whether those named posed a present risk to children, and to deal with them before moving on to investigate historical abuse claims.
But the allegations emerging are not confined to football, or even to sport.
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) said it had seen a tenfold increase in the number of adult survivors of child abuse registering for its support groups, rising from 10 registrations a week to 100 in the last three weeks.
The Napac chief executive, Gabrielle Shaw, said: “This is not just about football; huge numbers of people suffered abuse in childhood, within the family or institutions. Survivors often feel shame, pain and confusion about what was done to them.”
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