31 allegations of rape made against Jimmy Savile in sex abuse inquiry

589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation

A total of 31 allegations of rape have been made against Jimmy Savile so far, police investigating the sex abuse scandal surrounding the late star revealed today.

Some 589 people have come forward with information relating to the scandal, with a total of 450 complaints against the BBC presenter and DJ himself, mainly alleging sexual abuse, Scotland Yard said.

Ten weeks since the launch of Operation Yewtree - looking at the claims against Savile - police said they have recorded 199 crimes in 17 force areas in which he is a suspect.

There are 31 allegations of rape recorded against Savile in seven force areas, Scotland Yard said.

So far Operation Yewtree detectives have detained seven suspects and helped in the arrest of three others elsewhere in the country, Scotland Yard said, adding: "More arrests nationally will be forthcoming."

Former pop star Gary Glitter and a man in his 70s - among those arrested as part of Operation Yewtree - were bailed again by police today.

Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was the first person to be detained, on October 28. He was questioned by officers and released on bail.

Earlier today, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Two men arrested in connection with Operation Yewtree - a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s - have been re-bailed to return on dates in February 2013."

Other high-profile names to have been questioned include celebrity publicist Max Clifford, comedian Freddie Starr and DJ Dave Lee Travis. All deny any wrongdoing.

Mr Clifford protested his innocence after being questioned by detectives last Thursday.

The publicist, who was held at his Surrey home on suspicion of sexual offences and taken to Belgravia police station in central London for questioning, said the allegations were "damaging and totally untrue".

Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others, with the report covering the first of those strands.

Operation Yewtree involves a team of 30 officers and has already cost around £2 million.

Today Scotland Yard said the majority of work relating to offences reported against Savile acting alone has now been completed, although more victims could come forward, and are being encouraged to do so.

Police and the NSPCC are compiling a report, which it is hoped will be published in the new year, to provide an overview of the late star's activities.

The report, based on information from the hundreds of victims who have come forward since early October, is intended to "give a voice" to those who have come forward, and help shape future child protection safeguards.

Police said that although work is continuing, analysis so far showed that 82% of those coming forward reporting abuse were female, and 80% of the total victims were children or young people.

The force said the sexual abuse allegations reported against a single person were "unprecedented" in the UK, and 12 other inquiries or related reviews have been launched since the ITV broadcast on October 4 that prompted the Savile sex abuse scandal.

Scotland Yard said there had been a significant increase in the reporting of both "non-recent" child abuse unrelated to Savile and previously undisclosed adult serious sexual offences.

In London there has been a four-fold increase in reports to the force's child abuse investigation teams - 55 reports of non-recent rape and serious sexual offences in the month before the launch of Operation Yewtree, and 299 in the month after.

The Met Police's rape investigation command, Sapphire, has seen a 100% increase in reported cases in October and November compared to last year.

There were also increases in contact to helplines at the NSPCC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, and Rape Crisis, and an increase in referrals to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (Ceop).

Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations, said: "Once again, I want to pay tribute to those who have spoken out and bravely shared their experiences of sexual assault.

"As a result of their collective efforts, we have a great opportunity to learn from the past, develop our understanding of sexual exploitation and improve our safeguarding procedures.

"Our response should send a clear warning to anyone today now in a position of power and influence who abuse their status to sexually exploit children and young people - victims will be listened to and robust action taken.

Peter Watt, director of the NSPCC helpline, said: "Operation Yewtree has exposed shocking child abuse allegations of such an unprecedented scale that it has left a deep scar on the consciousness of the country.

"By bravely speaking out, Jimmy Savile's victims have given others the courage to report child abuse they have suffered themselves, or their concerns that a child is being sexually abused.

"Child abuse remains widespread and children are suffering right now.

"We must do all we can to ensure this never happens again by listening to children, taking them seriously and taking action to protect them.

"Sadly, Savile's victims had to wait decades for help. We have a historic opportunity to learn from the past and make a difference to how we protect children today."

He urged anyone who suspected abuse, past or present, to contact the police or the NSPCC on 0800 800 5000.

PA

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