Savile: Report Reveals Full Scale Of Sex Abuse

Police have revealed the "vast" extent of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile - saying his crimes spanning more than 50 years were probably unprecedented in the UK.

The late TV presenter's alleged victims included 28 children aged under 10, including 10 boys aged as young as eight.

A further 63 were girls aged between 13 and 16 and nearly three quarters of his victims were under 18.

Some 214 criminal offences have been recorded across 28 police forces and 34 rapes have been reported.

Presenting a joint report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC, Detective Superintendent David Gray said: "The sheer scale and the severity of his offending is appalling."

Savile must have thought about his abuse "every minute of every waking day", he added.

Police said the attacks took place over 54 years - the earliest in Manchester in 1955 - and in 14 locations, including hospitals and a hospice, where he was accused of sexually touching a patient aged between 13 and 16.

Allegations against him include 14 offences relating to schools across the country, partly when children had written to him for his Jim'll Fix It programme.

The report said he used his celebrity status to control victims and "hide in plain sight".

Claims of his abuse peaked between 1966 and 1976 when he was aged between 40 and 50.

The 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.

Some 450 people came forward to police about Savile.

Scotland Yard said there was no clear evidence he was acting as part of a paedophile ring but that he may have been part of an "informal" abuse network.

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."

Savile's abuse "simply beggared belief", the NSPCC said. Peter Watt, the charity's director of child protection advice and awareness, said: "It's clear Savile cunningly built his entire life into gaining access to vulnerable children."

Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt, at Scotland Yard, said: "The kind of things we're beginning to learn from this report that are new will shock people."

A separate report for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Savile could have been prosecuted for offences against three victims while he was alive had they been taken more seriously.

That report pointed to shortcomings by prosecutors and police in Surrey and Sussex in relation to alleged attacks in the 1970s.

Two of the four victims concerned were as young as 14, one of whom said Savile had assaulted her outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where a total of 24 offences were reported.

In 2009 a CPS lawyer reviewing the cases said that no prosecutions could have been brought because complainants were not "prepared to support any police action".

But the CPS report said the cases had been treated with undue caution by police - and that had the individuals been told they were not alone in their allegations, prosecutions might have been possible.

Apologising for shortcomings, the Director of Public Prosecutions said the case was a "watershed moment" and that new guidelines on prosecutions in child sex exploitation cases would be drawn up.

Criminologist Professor David Wilson told Sky News that with the wider world unaware of the extent of Savile's predatory nature for so many years, his fame and "narcissism" created a "perfect storm" in which he was able to gain access to establishments and carry out abuse.

Sylvia Edwards, who said she was assaulted by Savile as he presented Top Of The Pops in the 1970s, when she was 18, said: "I'm glad that it's all coming out because people knew about it and they just didn't do anything. I'm glad that a lot more people have come forward."

The BBC issued an apology to victims who were attacked on its premises and described the revelations in the report as "shocking". "The BBC will continue to work with the police to help them investigate these matters," it said.

The police and NSPCC report stopped short of blaming other institutions that may have "missed past opportunities" to stop Savile.

It said these institutions must do "all they can to make their procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults as robust and rigorous as possible".

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said every organisation involved in the "appalling" allegations should "investigate what has gone on and get to the bottom of it".

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