Saturday 17 March 2018

Angry victims say police force report into its ties with Savile is 'pathetic'

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile

Paul Cahalan

Jimmy Savile's victims have damned what they describe as a 'pathetic' report by West Yorkshire Police .

The report examined the history of Savile's relationship with the force and concluded there was no evidence that the millionaire celebrity DJ, pictured, was protected by police officers.

The report also noted that Savile's details were recorded as part of the huge hunt to find the Yorkshire Ripper, in the 1970s, but no evidence has been found that he was a "person of interest" to the inquiry.

A lawyer representing some of the disgraced former presenter's victims said that the investigation failed to address why officers were blinkered by his celebrity and neglected to apologise to his victims.

Police in Savile's home town of Leeds continued to use the disgraced TV idol for publicity campaigns despite being told by Surrey Police he was the subject of an inquiry into child abuse at a school, the report published by West Yorkshire Police (WYP) revealed.

The report, which has now been referred to the UK's police watchdog, added while police officers had an "over-reliance on personal friendships" with Savile they did not protect him from arrest or prosecution.

It recorded 76 crimes involving 68 victims committed in the West Yorkshire area relating to Savile, and stated no offence was recorded before the former DJ's death in October 2011.

Alan Collins, who represents more than 40 of Savile's victims, said the report "didn't add up".

"It is a pathetic document. It is absolute rubbish and hasn't addressed police officers being influenced by Savile. Their relationship coloured their judgment," Mr Collins said, noting the 59-page document did not contain one apology to the victims.

"It's pretty pathetic. The more you scrutinise the document the more the inadequacies come out."

In 2007, Surrey Police asked the WYP to check what records it held on Savile in connection with its investigation at Duncroft School and another inquiry into suspected offences dating back to 1964.

Despite this, WYP still used Savile for crime- prevention promotions.

And the report also showed that police officers would join Savile for a weekly coffee at his Leeds home, a ritual which became known as the "Friday Morning Club", but said there was no "impropriety or misconduct".


And despite rumours over decades about Savile's behaviour and evidence from retired officers that Savile was the subject of investigations, the report found no recorded evidence of an allegation of abuse being made while Savile was alive.

Mr Collins added: There was intelligence, but that intelligence wasn't shared or used, so Savile was able to run rings around police forces. "There's collective myopia."

Most offences took place at the height of the presenter's fame in the 1960s and 70s but spanned six decades. The report, which made five recommendations for WYP, will now be passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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