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

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