Wednesday 18 October 2017

Police failed to link abuse allegations against Savile

Sir Jimmy Savile was accused of using his role as a BBC presenter to groom girls. Photo: PA
Sir Jimmy Savile was accused of using his role as a BBC presenter to groom girls. Photo: PA

Margaret Davis and Alex Diaz

BRITAIN's top police officer has claimed that sex abuse allegations made against Jimmy Savile while he was alive would have exposed "a pattern of behaviour" had they been linked together.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said police and other organisations had not connected a number of separate claims made about Savile's allegedly predatory actions.

Seven potential victims came forward to four police forces before the BBC 'Top Of The Pops' presenter died on October 29 last year, but no action was taken.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: "Organisations including the police have had individual allegations that have not been put together to actually show that this person may well have shown a pattern of behaviour that's been pretty awful."

It also emerged yesterday that Savile was barred from any involvement with the BBC's Children In Need charity.

Reputation

Former governor Roger Jones said in a BBC interview: "I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character.

"When I was with Children In Need, we took the decision that we didn't want him anywhere near to the charity, and we just stepped up our child protection policies, which again would have put him at great risk if he tried anything."

Police are looking at around 300 potential victims and pursuing more than 400 lines of inquiry.

Mr Hogan-Howe told reporters: "It does shock you. The scale of it, if you accept all the public accounts of the activity then it's possibly spanned 50 years."

He added: "It does look as if from time to time people have been concerned, they've made the start to intervene.

"But probably then they've relied a little bit too much on his reputation and his word that he did nothing."

Surrey, Sussex and Jersey police all found that there was not enough evidence to proceed with the allegations they received.

Two potential victims came forward to Scotland Yard -- one of whom claimed she had been abused in the 1970s but did not want to pursue a criminal investigation.

Police are trying to find the original file on a second claim made by another woman who alleged she was assaulted in the 1980s, possibly in a caravan outside BBC premises in west London.

The commissioner said a lot of what happened was before changes were made to the sharing of police data following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002.

A team of 30 officers are currently investigating three categories of allegations: those involving Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.

The commissioner said that most of the "others" were in the entertainment industry.

An independent probe has now been launched into the BBC's "culture and practices" during Savile's career at the organisation.

Irish Independent

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