Reaction: Jimmy Savile report
- 11 January 2013
- From the section UK
A report on the extent of sexual abuse carried out by the late presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile has been published by the Metropolitan Police and children's charity the NSPCC.
Some 214 crimes are believed to have taken place at various institutions, including hospitals and schools, and at the BBC, between 1955 and 2009.
In a second review, the director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer said Savile should have been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service for sexual offences against at least three victims while he was alive.
Reaction to both reports has been quick to arrive.
Victims and their representatives
Some of Savile's victims have waived their right to anonymity in a bid to explain what happened to them and how their lives have been affected.
Kevin Cook told the BBC he was sexually abused by Savile aged nine, after appearing on Jim'll Fix It. He said: "I am shocked by the amount of time it's gone on, the amount that's gone on, how could it just go on... I'm lost for words."
About 50 of Savile's alleged victims are represented by solicitors Pannone. Kim Harrison, a partner at the law firm, said the report was an important first step to achieving "some kind of justice" for what happened to them.
She said: "The sheer scale of what's happened here and the sheer number of institutions involved will shock everybody.
"There was an opportunity in 2009 to prosecute while he [Savile] was still alive... which could have seen some sort of justice. This was missed.
"There's questions to be asked about... how he was able to get away with this for so long, who knew about it and who turned a blind eye."
But Kerry Griffiths, who was kissed by Savile when she was 13, told BBC News she did not feel victims would "get any kind of closure" from the report.
The NSPCC issued the report jointly with officers from Scotland Yard. Peter Watt from the NSPCC said: "People knew or suspected abuse was happening but were not taken seriously.
"He was somebody who saw opportunistically where potential victims were and then he used his fame to get himself into those situations."
Claire Lilley, a senior analyst with the charity, has urged anyone with concerns about a child to contact them in light of the Savile scandal.
She said: "If they do have a gut feeling, call the NSPCC's helpline which is designed for exactly that purpose. Our councillors will help them... to understand if what they've seen represents something which is definitely dangerous behaviour and will help then to understand whether they need to refer on."
Sheila Taylor, chief executive of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, said the CPS report "highlights the need for dedicated CPS representatives in each area that clearly understand these sexual offences and why the young people in the beginning appear to be not credible and difficult to believe".
She added: "We really do have a duty to understand their situation and what they're going through, believe them, and help them to make allegations that are followed through by prosecutions."
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said the extent of Savile's abuse was "both shocking and appalling".
He added: "Victim Support can help people any time after a crime has happened... We will therefore support anyone who has been affected by alleged crimes relating to Jimmy Savile and indeed anyone who has had memories of other abuse brought back by this high profile case."
Among Friday's revelations was one claim of abuse on the premises of Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds.
Helen Ankrett, palliative care services manager, said in a statement: "I'm aware that in the first few years of Wheatfields Hospice's opening, he organised a few fundraising events in aid of the hospice.
"We're appalled and dismayed to hear that an alleged incident took place on the premises of the hospice in 1977. Our thoughts are with the individual involved and their family at this difficult time."
Some 49 claims of abuse by Savile took place in hospitals around the UK. In Leeds, 18 offences were recorded across three different hospitals, including the High Royds Psychiatric Hospital, which has since closed.
The Department of Health said the Savile report showed the need to "learn lessons from his crimes" and the findings would feed into its own investigation.
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said the revelations were "extremely distressing", and added a "thorough and detailed" investigation began in December into what happened at Leeds General Infirmary and St James's University Hospital.
Some 22 offences were said to have taken place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Chief executive Ann Eden said the hospital was "currently reviewing files and records from the last 40 years before it moves on to meeting and hearing from witnesses".
In 1988, Savile was appointed by the Department of Health as the head of a taskforce overseeing Broadmoor, a high-security psychiatric hospital. He is claimed to have abused a vulnerable patient in 1991.
Steve Shrubb, chief executive of the West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said: "The Department of Health and the trust will look to the Metropolitan Police to share any information they have that would help us in our investigation of Jimmy Savile's activities at Broadmoor Hospital."
The trust and the Department of Health have commissioned a joint, independent investigation into Savile's activities at Broadmoor. A final report is expected by the end of 2013 and the trust said it was reviewing "thousands of files and records" to help with the police investigation.
Ray Walker, executive director of high secure services and nursing at Mersey Care NHS Trust, said an alleged offence at Ashworth Hospital (formally Moss Side Hospital) in 1971 was not reported at the time.
He said the thoughts of the trust - which runs the hospital - were with those affected by Savile's crimes.
The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, said investigations were under way into a claim of abuse at Exeter Hospital. Similarly, the Wirral Community NHS Trust is investigating one claim of abuse at the now closed St Catherine's Hospital in Birkenhead.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said it was "fully co-operating with the Metropolitan Police in their investigation", after an abuse claim was made concerning the now closed Royal Hospital in the city.
Responding to an allegation of abuse at the now closed Saxondale Mental Health Hospital, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said it was satisfied Savile only visited the hospital on one occasion.
An allegation of abuse at Great Ormond Street Hospital will not be investigated further by the police, as the claim "was not reported at the time and neither the police nor the hospital have any records relating to it", the hospital said.
Abuse by Savile occurred while he was working for the BBC at Television Centre in west London, the report said.
In a statement, the BBC said: "The police report into Jimmy Savile contains shocking revelations.
"As we have made clear, the BBC is appalled that some of the offences were committed on its premises.
"We would like to restate our sincere apology to the victims of these crimes. The BBC will continue to work with the police to help them investigate these matters.
"We have also set up the Dame Janet Smith Review to help us understand how these crimes could have been committed and how we can avoid them happening ever again."
Mr Williams-Thomas, the former detective who appeared on ITV1's documentary into abuse claims against Savile, said an individual like the late DJ should never have been allowed to have so much power.
"He used his celebrity status to allow him to travel up and down the length of the country," he said.
David Cameron's official spokesman said the prime minister believes it "is absolutely right that every institution involved gets to the bottom of what has gone on".
The Department of Health has already launched an investigation into Savile's activities on NHS premises, led by former barrister Kate Lampard.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told BBC Radio 4's World at One Programme: "Everyone who is named in this report will be asked to co-operate with Kate Lampard.
"The scale of the challenge facing NHS organisations is absolutely huge, not least because they are having to go back potentially 41 years to an era where the records were not very good.
"My first priority is for people who are using the NHS today. I want to give them the absolute assurance that we have the right procedures in place to stop this happening again."
Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, has called for a "proper overarching review" led by child protection experts.
"We need to know how on earth he was able to get away with this for decades, because action is still needed today," she said.
"A myriad of small reviews and inquiries into how it could happen in different hospitals or the BBC are just not enough.
"No-one can pretend this is still a historic problem and we need to learn the lessons to change our systems right now."