Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Former inspector 'acted for Savile'

Police have been criticised for missing the chance to bring Jimmy Savile to court over abuse allegations

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.

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 Met.

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.

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