Arrests expected in relation to Savile abuse case
POLICE IN Britain are expected to arrest people linked to child sex abuse carried out by the late entertainer Jimmy Savile in the coming days, though detectives have said they do not yet have evidence that a paedophile ring existed.
Searches are now being carried out at a holiday home in the Scottish Highlands owned by Savile, who died last October, and also of his Leeds apartment.
Some 300 people who claim that they were abused by the BBC star have now contacted the police and, so far, detectives have drawn up 115 crime reports on the back of the 130 interviews that have been carried out.
Commander Peter Spindler described the numbers as “quite staggering” and added that the abuse allegedly occurred in Broadmoor prison, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, for which Savile was a major fundraiser, and Leeds General Infirmary, as well as an approved school in Surrey.
Meanwhile, a retired police officer has told the Times newspaper that he investigated allegations in the 1970s that Savile abused a girl in his caravan at the BBC Television Centre in London.
The Metropolitan Police investigation, said Cdr Spindler, is “a watershed moment for child abuse investigations” and a “turning point in public confidence” in taking action in child abuse cases.
Unlike in Ireland and a number of other countries, it is not a criminal offence to be aware of child abuse in the UK and not report it to the authorities, though there is now pressure for the law to be changed.
“At this stage we have no evidence there was a paedophile ring in any of the institutions but it is too early to say as we have not spoken to half the victims. This is much more about opportunistic individuals,” said Cdr Spindler, who is leading a team of 30 detectives.
“We cannot criminalise people for not speaking but if somebody did something to aid and abet then we can do something about it.”
The dead entertainer’s holiday cottage, called Allt na Reigh near Glencoe in the Highlands – which has remained untouched since the entertainer died last year aged 84 – was searched yesterday by police, looking for any evidence that abuse of children took place there.