Police Launch Investigation Into Sexual Abuse Suffered at Newcastle and Sunderland Charity

Published on: 26 January 2017

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating alleged historical sexual abuse at Newcastle United and Sunderland's Foundation of Light charity, according to the "?Daily Mail.

The police force launched Operation Tide last month and so far 25 victims have come forward alleging abuse from eight suspects across nine football clubs across the country.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best told the Daily Mail: "?"Our specially trained officers have been in contact with a number of people who have taken the hugely brave step of speaking to us.

"My plea to those affected is please don't suffer in silence, we would like you to come forward, our officers are trained and able to investigate and we work closely with other support organisations to ensure we provide the best possible service to you.

"We also urge anyone who may have any information regarding child sexual abuse to come forward."

Police confirm investigation into sexual abuse at Newcastle United and Sunderland's charity https://t.co/v5hVRqXAyz

The Foundation of Light was registered 16-years-ago and is the registered charity of Sunderland football club.

Sunderland's head of safety, Paul Weir said: "We have been made aware of an investigation, which relates to a former employee of the Foundation of Light.

"First and foremost our thoughts are with anyone affected by this and other such cases. We are giving our full support to the Foundation of Light and Northumbria Police to ensure that they receive every assistance in their investigations."

The Foundation itself released the following statement: "We are currently helping Northumbria Police with their enquiries about a case of non-recent sexual abuse relating to a former employee.

"Foundation of Light is an organisation that is dedicated to improving people's lives and over the years we have supported many who have suffered abuse, as well as forging positive working relationships with Northumbria Police.

"We are extremely saddened to hear of the allegations and will do everything in our power to support this investigation. Our concern is primarily with those who have suffered abuse and we would encourage any others who have suffered abuse in the past to contact the NSPCC on 0800 023 2642.

"To prevent abuse all Foundation of Light staff undergo rigorous safeguarding training; Foundation of Light employs a safeguarding officer as is suitable for an organisation of its size and type and DBS checks are undertaken on all appropriate staff. We also adhere to strict safeguarding procedures to protect the thousands we work with every day and take allegations of abuse very seriously.

"As this is an ongoing police investigation it would not be appropriate for us to comment in more detail at this stage."