Thursday 19 October 2017

Savile worst child abuser in history -- Scotland Yard

Jimmy Savile is one of the most prolific sex offenders in recent history and the inquiry into his abuse will be a "watershed" investigation into sex crime, Scotland Yard said.

Commander Peter Spindler said the force was now dealing with around 300 potential victims, of whom all except two are women.

Suspects other than Savile had been accused and officers were "developing an arrest strategy" but had yet to detain anyone or interview them under caution, he said.

Mr Spindler said Savile was "undoubtedly" one of the most prolific sex offenders he had come across.

He added: "Within London we have trebled the number of historic abuse allegations. I have no doubt that we're in a watershed moment for child abuse investigation."

Questions have been raised over why previous allegations against Savile were not pursued. Mr Spindler said a retired officer had been in touch to say he had investigated Savile in the 1980s while based in west London but did not have the evidence to proceed.

The commander said he believed the allegation was of an indecent assault, possibly in a caravan on BBC premises in west London, but officers have still not found the original file.

Another allegation, of inappropriate touching dating back to the 1970s, was made by a woman in 2003, but this was treated as "intelligence" by police because the victim did not want to take action.

Allegations

Allegations that three doctors were involved in an abuse ring linked to Savile had not yet been passed to the investigation team, Mr Spindler said.

The former DJ, who died last year aged 84, had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary.

The officer added that a search of a cottage belonging to Savile in Scotland was being carried out to look for "any evidence of any others being involved in any offending with him".

Praising victims for their courage in coming forward, he encouraged anyone else who was wondering whether to speak out to do so.

"That's the type of people who are the most vulnerable in our society, and they do need to be given a voice."

Mr Spindler said the weight of evidence against the late DJ was overwhelming.

Investigators have so far spoken to 130 people who have come forward, and 114 allegations of crime have emerged.

Mr Spindler also warned current abuse offenders that police "will come for them".

He said: "While Britain reflects on how Savile was able to hide in plain sight, I think it's quite important that we focus on what's happening today in our society."

Irish Independent

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