A joint report into the sexual abuse allegations made against Sir Jimmy Savile was made available to the public today. The report, written by David Gray (Detective Superintendent) and Peter Watt (NSPCC), outlines the discoveries made by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC since they launched the inquiry, known as Operation Yewtree, 3 months earlier.

The findings of Operation Yewtree detail that the offending occurred between 1955 and 2009, Savile would have been aged between 28 and 82. The main areas of abuse were found to be Leeds and London, Savile’s hometown and frequent place of work respectively. The recorded crimes to date contain 126 reports of indecent acts and 34 claims of rape/penetration. It was discovered that the ‘peak’ of Jimmy Savile’s alleged offences occurred between 1966 and 1976, when Savile was between the ages of 40-50. The age of the victims (at the time of the abuse) ranges from just 8 years old to 47. 73% of the abuse victims were under 18, with the majority being between 13 and 16 years old. It is also confirmed in the report that 82% of the victims were female.

The report notes that at the time of the peak period of offending, police investigation techniques of crimes of this nature were somewhat basic and lacked the ‘specialist skills, knowledge, and the collaborative approach’ of today. It was also over a decade prior to the enforcement of The Children Act 1989, described in the report as ‘the most comprehensive piece of legislation concerning child protection to be passed by

The costs of Operation Yewtree are calculated to be roughly £450,000 to date. These costs have mainly been incurred by diversion of officers from other investigations.

Although the majority of the victims did not come forward at the time of the alleged offences, there were some victims who did make reports of this nature. However, records show that these reports failed to be investigated further for a number of reasons; the most common being the reluctance of victims and witnesses to pursue matters further.

It is understandable that at time of the abuse, many of Savile’s victims would have been too scared to come forward about their experiences.  As solicitors specialising in abuse claims, we know that for victims of abuse, coming forward about their experiences is an extremely difficult hurdle to overcome, regardless of the profile of the abuser. This would only have been intensified for Savile’s victims, who no doubt thought they wouldn’t be believed when making accusations against a man who was a big star in the UK at the time. It can only be hoped that his victims can now, through admitting and talking about the abuse, find some release.

At Farleys, we have a dedicated department to help victims of abuse claim compensation. To talk to a member of our team about how you could pursue a claim at no cost to you, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

By Jonathan Bridge, Abuse Claim Solicitor