Police errors left Jimmy Savile free to 'groom the nation'
[GUARDIAN.CO.UK] A litany of failings by police and prosecutors meant the one chance to bring Jimmy Savile to justice while he was alive was lost, the director of public prosecution has admitted as he promised to reinvestigate thousands of sexual assault cases where victims felt they were not believed.
Three official reports on Friday revealed for the first time the damning details of how the authorities just three years ago failed to build a case against the BBC celebrity, who sexually assaulted children and young people across six decades and used the power of his celebrity to "groom the nation".
The BBC, hospitals, schools, the police and prosecutors all let down the hundreds of victims, aged as young as eight, allowing the predatory paedophile to continue abusing "in plain sight" throughout his lifetime. Police across the country including the Metropolitan police, Surrey, Sussex and Savile's home force, West Yorkshire, failed to share information, in some cases failed to record allegations against him and in other cases even warned victims off.
When Savile was finally interviewed by detectives in 2009 the encounter was "perfunctory" and he was allowed to control the proceedings, a review by Surrey police found.
Apologising to the victims, Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said victims of any sexual abuse, no matter how historic, who felt their complaints were mishandled should come forward, and promised a review of such cases. Panels will be set up across the country by police and prosecutors to re-examine cases. This had to be a "watershed moment" in the way complaints from victims of sexual assault are handled, he said, adding that victims had to be believed.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-12