'Predatory sex offender' Jimmy Savile abused 30 girls
POLICE called Jimmy Savile a "predatory sex offender" as it emerged that he is now suspected of abusing up to 30 young girls in allegations dating as far back as 1959.
In the first official estimate of the scale of his crimes, Scotland Yard said its team was pursuing 120 separate lines of inquiry against the late BBC presenter.
So far, eight criminal allegations have been formally recorded against him, two of rape and six of indecent assault, involving girls aged between 13 and 16.
Police said Savile had a "predilection" for young girls and that his offending was on a "national scale" and went on for four decades.
Officers are in contact with Stoke Mandeville and Leeds General Infirmary hospitals, where he did charity work and volunteered, about the possibility that he abused patients there as well as in his BBC dressing room.
He is also said to have preyed on girls from Duncroft App-roved School in Surrey and the Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey.
The BBC's own investigations unit is co-operating with the Metropolitan Police while 10 officers will take statements from the "brave" women who have come forward to say Savile took advantage of them.
The investigation, called Operation Yewtree, could involve as many as 30 victims.
Prime Minister David Camer- on told ITV1's 'Daybreak': "We have something called a Forfeiture Committee. It is not chaired or sat on by me but it is responsible for looking at honours and the removal of honours, and obviously they have to do their job too."
The Cabinet Office insisted that honours cease to exist when a person dies, although there is a campaign to change the law so they could be revoked after death.
With support from the NSPCC, which has fielded 40 calls in the week since ITV disclosed the first accounts from Savile's victims, the Metropolitan Police will compile a report within a few months on what can be concluded and what lessons should be learned.
Commander Peter Spindler told the BBC: "At this stage it is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender."
The new evidence prompted renewed claims that senior figures at the BBC must have heard the rumours about one of its star performers.
'Panorama', BBC One's flagship investigations programme, is expected to look into the Savile scandal.
The Met said it will also pursue investigations against others who helped procure girls for Savile or joined in his abuse.
As the backlash against Savile continued to grow, his family decided to take down his headstone "out of respect for public opinion".
The elaborate stone, unveiled only last month, will be removed from his grave in Scarborough.
Earlier, Mr Cameron hinted that Savile could become the first person to be stripped of their knighthood posthumously. (© Daily Telegraph, London)