UK & World News
Savile Abuse 'Unprecedented', Police Say
The investigation into sexual offences allegedly committed by the late DJ Jimmy Savile has revealed an "unprecedented" level of abuse by a single individual, according to child protection officials.
The Metropolitan Police report compiled 10 weeks into the Operation Yewtree investigation has seen 589 people come forward with information, of which 450 made accusations against Savile.
A total of 199 crimes have been recorded in 17 force areas in which the television presenter is a suspect and 31 allegations of rape have been made against him in seven force areas.
The report is based on information provided by the hundreds of alleged victims who have come forward since October 4, when five women recounted abuse allegedly at the hands of Savile in a TV documentary.
Analysis of the report has revealed that 82% of those who came forward to report abuse are female and 80% of the total victims were children or young people.
Commander Peter Spindler, Head of Specialist Crime Investigations at the Met, said: "Once again, I want to pay tribute to those who have spoken out and bravely shared their experiences of sexual assault.
"As a result of their collective efforts we have a great opportunity to learn from the past, develop our understanding of sexual exploitation and improve our safeguarding procedures.
"Our response should send a clear warning to anyone today now in a position of power and influence who abuse their status to sexually exploit children and young people - victims will be listened to and robust action taken."
The team of 30 officers is looking at three strands within the inquiry: claims against Savile, claims against Savile and others and claims against others. The report deals with the first strand of the inquiry.
Peter Watt, director of the NSPCC helpline, said: "Operation Yewtree has exposed shocking child abuse allegations of such an unprecedented scale that it has left a deep scar on the consciousness of the country.
"Sadly Savile's victims had to wait decades for help. We have a historic opportunity to learn from the past and make a difference to how we protect children today."
So far officers have detained seven suspects and assisted in the arrest of three others elsewhere in the country as part of Operation Yewtree.
More arrests will be forthcoming, the Metropolitan Police said.