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250 U.K. Celebs Accused of Child Sex Abuse

British police forces will have to sort through 1,433 suspects in over 100,000 cases of child abuse—almost double the amount of accusations from just three years ago.

The extraordinary scale of sexual abuse perpetrated against children by British VIPs was laid bare on Wednesday when officials disclosed that they were investigating allegations against 76 politicians and almost 250 “persons of public prominence.”

Thousands of victims have come forward since police forces launched a series of investigations into child abuse that went unpunished for decades. In total, police are investigating 1,433 suspects as part of inquiries into abuse within institutions or committed by prominent men.

“These astonishing figures starkly underline how child sexual abuse has infiltrated every level of society, from politics to sport and show business,” said Peter Wanless, chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The shocking figures are the latest blow to Britain’s reputation. The political, educational, and entertainment spheres have all been accused of allowing a culture of abuse and cover-up to persist despite the horrific human cost.

The public was stunned in 2011 when it was first revealed that Jimmy Savile—a top children’s TV star, DJ, and friend of Margaret Thatcher and the Royal Family—had been accused of hundreds of horrific crimes by boys and girls without ever facing justice in court. Similar stories of powerful men abusing children or young people without fear of prosecution continued to emerge until the government was forced to launch a national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse.

The publicity that surrounded the stunning Savile case and growing evidence that the Thatcher government covered up a Westminster pedophile ring has encouraged thousands more victims to come forward and tell the police that they were also abused by people in positions of authority.

“The referrals are increasing on an almost daily basis,” said Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who is overseeing the interconnected police investigations. “The numbers I refer to today are a snapshot in time.”