Jimmy Savile investigation now a criminal inquiry

Opening of the new Spinal Injuries Rehabilitation centre at Pinderfields Hospital.Sir Jimmy Savile
Opening of the new Spinal Injuries Rehabilitation centre at Pinderfields Hospital.Sir Jimmy Savile
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THE inquiry into alleged child abuse by Jimmy Savile has become a formal criminal investigation involving other living people.

Scotland Yard said today that there were “lines of inquiry involving living people that require formal investigation”.

Operation Yewtree, which was launched earlier this month as merely an “assessment” into claims against the television presenter and Wakefield DJ, has moved on following two weeks of investigation that has identified more than 200 potential victims.

Scotland Yard said: “As we have said from the outset, our work was never going to take us into a police investigation into Jimmy Savile.

“What we have established in the last two weeks is that there are lines of inquiry involving living people that require formal investigation.”

The NSPCC said today that it is possible Savile was “one of the most prolific sex offenders” the charity has ever come across.

Head of the NSPCC helpline Peter Watt said: “We have received over 136 calls directly relating to allegations against him which we’ve passed to the police.

“It’s important we recognise the brave step victims have taken in coming forward and we urge any other victims to do the same.”

Dame Janet Smith, who headed the Shipman Inquiry, has been appointed to head an inquiry into Savile’s time at the BBC and today Scotland Yard said they recognised “her need to progress this important work”.

Inquiries are taking place into Savile’s involvement with Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Broadmoor and Leeds General Infirmary.

He died in October last year, aged 84.