Claims that 'former police inspector acted for Jimmy Savile'

Prosecutors and police have already been criticised for missing the chance to bring the disgraced entertainer to court over the allegations before he died

A former inspector has been referred to the police watchdog over claims he "acted on behalf" of Jimmy Savile by contacting officers before an interview.

The officer, who was from West Yorkshire Police, is accused of contacting Surrey Police before they questioned Savile over alleged sexual offences in 2009.

Prosecutors and police have already been criticised for missing the chance to bring the disgraced entertainer to court over the allegations before he died.

West Yorkshire was ordered by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to refer the officer.

Today the IPCC also said it has asked seven forces including West Yorkshire to review whether there are more conduct issues that should be referred to the watchdog over the Savile investigation.

The other six forces are Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the Metropolitan police.

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "Having had the opportunity to assess all the information that is available to us I directed West Yorkshire Police to record and refer the conduct of a former inspector.

"Furthermore I believe that all the forces that may have had intelligence concerning the late Jimmy Savile should now go back and consider all the relevant information and materials they possess that may highlight any recordable conduct issues for the IPCC to assess.

"A number of bodies are already working to address the deep rooted public concern in this case and have published reports. It is now for the IPCC to assess thoroughly whether or not there are matters in relation to the conduct of individual officers that require an IPCC investigation.

"This may be of little comfort to victims of crime but I hope that the IPCC can play some part in addressing what many see as a catalogue of institutional failings."

This follows a review by the IPCC of reports by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC, the Crown Prosecution Service and Surrey Police as well as information given by forces in West Yorkshire and Sussex.

The watchdog also looked at details given by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, which is preparing a report for the Home Secretary on what the police knew about Savile.

A report published last month found that the chance to convict Savile for sex offences while he was alive was missed because victims were not taken seriously enough.

Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions (DPP), said that police and prosecutors treated their claims "with a degree of caution which was neither justified nor required".

Surrey Police received an allegation in May 2007 that Savile had sexually assaulted a teenage girl at Duncroft Children's Home in the late 1970s.

In the investigation that followed, two more allegations emerged - the first that in about 1973 Savile had sexually assaulted a girl aged about 14 outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The second was that in the 1970s Savile had suggested to a girl aged about 17, again at Duncroft, that she perform oral sex on him.

In March 2008, Sussex Police received a complaint that Savile had sexually assaulted a woman in her early 20s in a caravan in Sussex in about 1970.

Surrey Police consulted with the CPS about all four allegations, and in October 2009 it was decided that no prosecution could be brought because the alleged victims would not support police action.

However, in her review of the decision Ms Levitt found that prosecutions could have been possible in relation to three victims.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...