LONDON – A national U.K. police group looking into potential links between multiple British investigations into past child sex abuse said Wednesday that more than 1,400 suspects have been identified.
The National Police Chiefs' Council, which coordinates separate abuse allegations across Britain, said 261 suspects were "people of public prominence." They included 76 politicians, 135 people from TV, film or radio, and 43 from the music industry.
Most of the others were said to be offenders who operated inside schools, children's homes and religious bodies. Of the total, 216 are dead.
Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey said the referrals were "increasing on an almost-daily basis." He added that revelations about the scale of abuse by late children's entertainer and charity fundraiser Jimmy Savile "no doubt" had an impact on the unprecedented number of allegations.
Britons were horrified to learn after Savile's death in 2011 that he had been a serial predator, abusing children in places including hospitals for decades.
Other well-known figures have since been investigated for or convicted of using their positions to get away with abuse.
Home Secretary Theresa May said it was almost certain more allegations are to come.
An official inquiry is underway looking into whether British public agencies had neglected or covered up abuse allegations from the 1970s.