Sir Jimmy Savile: ‘25 sex victims and 40 years of abuse on national scale’
SIR Jimmy Savile may have abused as many as 25 victims over a 40-year period on a “national scale”, police said on Tuesday.
• Police claim that allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile are on a “national scale”
• Up to 120 lines of inquiry currently being followed
• Rape and indecent assault among criminal allegations recorded
The allegations involve teenage girls as young as 13 and include two complaints of rape and six of indecent assault, with officers examining up to 120 lines of inquiry.
Scotland Yard has formally recorded eight criminal allegations against the former Top of the Pops presenter so far in its investigation, named Operation Yewtree.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations at Scotland Yard, said that the allegations dated back to 1959.
He said: “The reality is this really has captured the public’s mind. We are getting calls from victims, from witnesses and third parties who believe they know something about it.
“We have formally recorded eight criminal allegations against Savile. Two of those are rape, six of indecent assault.
“These are primarily against girls in their mid-teens, so between 13 and 16, and it spans four decades of abuse.
“The pattern of his offending behaviour does appear to be on a national scale.”
Mr Spindler said most claims seemed to be in the 1970s and 1980s. Scotland Yard has contacted ITV and the BBC, which in turn are contacting alleged victims to see if they will co-operate, he said.
Mr Spindler added: “We believe there are probably another 20 potential victims there. It is too early for us to give you an accurate picture of what 120 lines of inquiry will distil down to, but we believe we will come up with between 20 to 25 victims.”
Mr Spindler said although it is early in the inquiry, the information so far suggests Savile possessed a “predilection for teenage girls”.
As well as claims relating to alleged abuse at the BBC, Jersey’s Haut de la Garenne children’s home and Duncroft Approved School for Girls near Staines, Surrey, police have contacted Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds Royal Infirmary, where Savile did charity work.
The BBC itself is not being investigated, Mr Spindler said, but officers were working to identify any individual who could be subject to criminal investigation.
The BBC’s internal investigations unit has passed information to Scotland Yard and is fully co-operating with police.
Calling it an “assessment” rather than an investigation, Mr Spindler said Scotland Yard would produce a joint report with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to see what lessons could be learned and conclusions drawn.
The inquiry is being carried out by a team of officers from the force’s Serious Case Team to help bring it to a “swift conclusion”.
Peter Liver, from the NSPCC, yesterday said the charity had received 40 calls in the past five days after the claims emerged.
Of these, 24 have been referred to police or other agencies that support victims of abuse, and 17 directly relate to Savile, he said. There were also 21 unrelated calls to the helpline stemming from publicity over the allegations.
Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the issue of whether Savile could be posthumously stripped of his knighthood. But the move would require a change in the law as, technically, when the former DJ died last year, the honour he received ceased to exist.
Mr Cameron said: “These stories are deeply, deeply troubling and I hope that every organisation that has responsibilities will have a proper investigation into what happened, and if these things did happen, and how they were allowed to happen, and then of course everyone has to take their responsibilities.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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