Manchester

Cheshire Police in funding request over football-related child sex probes

Boys playing football Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Cheshire Police have an 11-strong team investigating "non-recent sexual abuse" complaints

A "substantial increase" in allegations of child sexual abuse linked to football has led Cheshire Police to ask the Home Office for extra funding.

The request follows widely publicised claims from former Crewe Alexandra players about their time at the club.

Cheshire Police wants to double the size of its "non-recent sexual abuse" unit.

Police Commissioner David Keane said funding already allocated for the unit "hasn't been anywhere near sufficient".

The team of 11 officers was established in October following an "increase in legacy cases being reported", Mr Keane told councillors.

While the Home Office awarded Cheshire Police £120,000 to help fund the unit, the force has now requested an additional £130,000.

'Substantial increase'

In November, Crewe Alexandra said an independent review would be commissioned into the way the club dealt with historical child sex abuse allegations.

The bid for extra Home Office funding was "specifically related to the increased costs associated with football-related investigations", Mr Keane said.

The police commissioner said an increase in the total number of allegations of historic sexual abuse had been "compounded by a substantial increase in football-related child sexual abuse allegations".

He said the team was making "good progress" with four "critical investigations".