Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Savile abuse claims were not linked

Jimmy Savile died a year ago at his home in Leeds
Jimmy Savile died a year ago at his home in Leeds
Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, returns to his house in central London after his arrest

Britain's most senior police officer has said that sex abuse allegations made against Jimmy Savile while he was alive would have exposed "a pattern of behaviour" if they had been linked together.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said police and other organisations had not connected a number of separate claims made about Savile's allegedly predatory actions. Seven potential victims came forward to four police forces before the Top Of The Pops presenter died last year, but no action was taken.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: "Organisations including the police have had individual allegations that have not been put together to actually show that this person may well have shown a pattern of behaviour that's been pretty awful."

It also emerged on Monday that Savile was barred from any involvement with the BBC's Children In Need charity. Former BBC governor Sir Roger Jones said in an interview with the broadcaster: "I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character.

"When I was with Children In Need, we took the decision that we didn't want him anywhere near to the charity, and we just stepped up our child protection policies, which again would have put him at great risk if he tried anything."

Police are currently looking at around 300 potential victims who may have fallen prey to Savile, and pursuing more than 400 lines of inquiry.

Mr Hogan-Howe told reporters: "It does shock you. The scale of it, if you accept all the public accounts of the activity then it's possibly spanned 50 years, which is a huge amount of time."

He added: "You might have thought that people would at least have talked about it and intervened," Mr Hogan-Howe said. "It does look as if from time to time people have been concerned, they've made the start to intervene. But probably then they've relied a little bit too much on his reputation and his word that he did nothing."

An independent probe has now been launched into the BBC's "culture and practices" during Savile's career. The inquiry, led by former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith, will also determine whether the broadcaster's child protection and whistle-blowing policies are up to scratch.

The inquiry comes a year to the day since Savile died aged 84 at his home in Leeds and a day after former pop star Gary Glitter was arrested and bailed until mid-December by police investigating the Savile scandal.

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