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Extent of Jimmy Savile's abuse revealed in new reports
10:20am Friday 11th January 2013 in News
Jimmy Savile was "a prolific, predatory sex offender" who could have been prosecuted for offences against at least three victims while he was alive, two separate reports have said.
The disgraced TV presenter used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight", with 214 criminal offences now recorded against him across 28 police forces, a report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC found.
It also revealed that Savile abused his victims at 14 medical sites including hospitals, mental health units and even a hospice.
The late TV presenter's victims included 28 children aged under 10, including ten boys. A further 63 victims were girls aged between 13 and 16.
Sussex Police was among the forces who missed Savile's pattern of behaviour as officers failed to follow up cases raised against the former DJ due to lack of evidence.
A joint report by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC said the earliest recorded incident was in Manchester in 1955. The final recorded offence was in 2009.
Claims of his abuse peaked between 1966 and 1976 when he was aged between 40 and 50.
Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009 had police taken victims more seriously.
Apology to victims
Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer said: "I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases.
"If this report and my apology are to serve their full purpose, then this must be seen as a watershed moment."
A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October, and within the recorded crimes, there are 34 rapes and 126 indecent acts, the police and NSPCC report said.
Of his victims, 73% were children, with the total victim age range between eight and 47 years old at the time of the offences.
Commander Peter Spindler, who is leading the national investigation into Savile's abuse, said: "Savile's offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic.
"He cannot face justice today, but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims. They have been listened to and taken seriously."
Top of the Pops
Comdr Spindler said so far 617 people had made contact with officers investigating claims against Savile and other figures in the entertainment industry, with 450 directly relating to Savile.
Offences cover the period when Savile worked at the BBC between 1965 and 2006 and include allegations linked to the final recording of Top of the Pops.
They also involve the period when he worked at Leeds General Infirmary between 1965 and 1995.
Abuse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital took place between 1965 and 1988, while at Duncroft School, a children's home, the allegations cover a period between 1970 and 1978.
The peak was between 1966 and 1976, when he was aged between 40 and 50.
John Cameron, head of child protection for the NSPCC, told The Guardian: "It is very clear that Savile assaulted very young children and that he was a prolific paedophile, there is no doubt about that.
"We want this to mark a cultural shift so that if a child speaks out about someone, we take what they are saying seriously and we act upon it always in future."
The investigation has been separated into three strands: allegations involving Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.
So far detectives working on the inquiry, called Operation Yewtree, have questioned 10 people, including comedians Jim Davidson and Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and PR guru Max Clifford. They all deny any wrongdoing.
On Thursday (January 10) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed it had received a file on a man in his 60s from police.
Operation Yewtree officers handed a full file of evidence to the CPS last month on a man from London arrested on December 10 on suspicion of sexual offences.
The CPS confirmed it is now giving investigative advice on a total of four other people who have been interviewed: a man in his 60s from Surrey, a man in his 80s from Berkshire, a man in his 70s from London, and most recently a man in his 60s from Warwickshire.
The NSPCC reported a surge in calls after the publicity surrounding claims against Savile, believed to be the most prolific sex offender police have ever dealt with.
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