Jimmy Savile: Police admit 'organisational failure'

Allegations from 35 alleged victims of Savile and former mayor Peter Jaconelli were never passed to the Crown Prosecution Service

Police have admitted to an 'organisational failure' which led to them missing opportunities to prosecute Jimmy Savile and a former mayor for child sex abuse.

Operation Hibiscus, an investigation into historical abuse allegations by North Yorkshire Police, found that allegations from 35 victims were never passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

32 of the cases related to allegations against former mayor of Scarborough Peter Jaconelli, between 1958 and 1998, and five related to behaviour by Savile between 1979 and 1988. Two people claimed they were abused by both men.

Savile had a home in the seaside resort where Jaconelli ran an ice cream business.

The former Radio 1 DJ died in 2011, aged 84 - a year before allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused children. Jaconelli, who was mayor in the 1970s, died in 1999. He was stripped of his title in May, following allegations of indecent assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, gross indecency and rape.

Paul Kennedy, Assistant Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, said: "The findings of Operation Hibiscus clearly suggest that there would have been sufficient evidence from 35 individual victims for the Crown Prosecution Service to consider criminal charges against Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile, had they been alive today.

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"The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive.

"North Yorkshire Police apologises to the victims who made the brave decision to come forward during the past 18 months."

But the force said it could not pursue lines of inquiry that would have involved interviews with Savile and Jaconelli, which may have seen them dispute the allegations.

The internal inquiry also found "no evidence of misconduct" by officers - but did find evidence of "organisational failure" relating to the way in which the force responded to information about Savile's alleged offences, and allegations made against Jaconelli nine years after his death. Jaconelli's relatives have said they were "not aware" of any evidence that he committed sexual crimes.

Mr Kennedy said: "A comprehensive investigation into these matters has now been completed by the Professional Standards Department.

"It concluded that there was no evidence of misconduct but there was evidence of organisational failure, with a number of lessons to be learned which have now been rectified for the future."