Police probing 120 leads in Jimmy Savile sex abuse inquiry

 

Police are looking at 120 lines of inquiry and possibly as many as 25 victims relating to the Jimmy Savile sex abuse claims, they said today.

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 told reporters: "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".

Mr Spindler said he hopes to bring the inquiry, dubbed Operation Yewtree, to as swift a conclusion as possible.

He said they will only launch investigations into living individuals about whom allegations are made if they get some evidence, which is most likely to come from witness statements.

"We are getting a range of different names reported to us, but the only allegations we have recorded are against Savile himself," he said.

He said information had been passed to Scotland Yard by the BBC's internal investigations unit, adding: "I have been in contact with the director general a number of times and agreed that they will hold back launching their own investigation until we have finished processing the material we have got.

"I am very satisfied with the level of support the BBC have provided. They are fully co-operating and I have no concerns whatsoever with the fact we can work with them."

Mr Spindler said victims would be looking for an "acknowledgement and a recognition of what happened to them."

Both he and Mr Liver paid tribute to people who had come forward.

"You really shouldn't underestimate the impact even after so many years of reliving these experiences and then to watch the public debate unfold and it has been quite significant," he said.

"It will be traumatic for some, if not all, of them.".

Mr Liver added: "I just want to acknowledge the bravery of the victims of abuse that have come forward as a result of this inquiry."

Savile's family are to remove his headstone from his grave in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

In a statement they said: "The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery.

"Out of respect to public opinion, to those who are buried there, and to those who tend their graves and visit there, we have decided to remove it."

The grave has been targeted by vandals - a bottle was thrown at it last week, but it was not damaged, North Yorkshire Police said.

It is understood the headstone will be removed tomorrow.

PA

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape