Tuesday 20 March 2018

Police chase 120 leads in Savile sex abuse case

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile

POLICE are pursuing 120 lines of inquiry and possibly as many as 25 victims relating to the Jimmy Savile sex abuse claims.

Scotland Yard has formally recorded eight criminal allegations against the star, including two of rape and six of indecent assault.

Commander Peter Spindler, head of Specialist Crime Investigations, said the allegations span four decades and information so far suggests abuse was on a "national scale".

He said there are currently 120 lines of inquiry, although some could be duplicates.

Mr Spindler said: "Information is coming in as we speak probably.

"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."

He said the first dated back to about 1959 but most seemed to be in the 70s and 80s.

Scotland Yard has been in contact with ITV and the BBC to gather information, and they are contacting alleged victims they have been talking to to see if they will co-operate, he said.

"We believe there are probably another 20 potential victims there," Mr Spindler added.

"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 they are working to identify anyone who could be subject to criminal investigation. The BBC is not being investigated, he said.

Asked if allegations related to any institutions other than those mentioned in previous claims - the BBC, the Jersey children's home, or the school in Staines - he said he had contacted Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and Leeds Royal Infirmary.

"The pattern of his offending behaviour does appear to be on a national scale," he said.

Mr Spindler said police will produce a joint report with the NSPCC to look to see what lessons can be learned and what conclusions can be drawn, which can be shared with other agencies.

Calling it an "assessment", rather than an investigation, he said it is being carried out by Scotland Yard and being led by its Serious Case Team, which looks at complex and history cases.

There are seven officers working on the case, but that will go up to 10 tomorrow, "because we are keen to draw this to a swift conclusion", he said.

Mr Spindler said a provisional search of Scotland Yard's records could not find any record of any previous investigation into Savile, and they were only previously aware of the involvement of Surrey Police.

Although it is in its early stages, he said allegations suggested Savile's "predilection for teenage girls".

"There is a pattern of behaviour that is being presented to us which ultimately we will hope to analyse and present in a final report in some weeks time," he said.

Peter Liver, from the NSPCC, said over the last five days the charity has received 40 calls following the claims of abuse committed by Savile.

Of these, 24 have been referred to police or other agencies that can support victims of abuse, he said, and 17 directly relate to Savile.

Mr Liver said there were also 21 unrelated calls to the helpline that stemmed from publicity over the allegations.

He said they consisted of "people coming forward to report abuse as a result of the attention that has been drawn to this".

Press Association

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