Savile's headstone removed by family
“The BBC has in place child protection policies, processes, guidance for us by all staff on and off the premises and independents making programmes for the BBC. We’ve asked the director-general to assure us that those policies are up to date and fit for purpose that they’re effective in protecting minors and under-age children," he said.
Addressing the Broadcasting Press Guild today, he spoke of “the appalling allegations, the cesspit of the Jimmy Savile allegations” as he tackled issues surrounding the former Top Top Of The Pops and Radio 1 host.
Police said yesterday that Savile’s abuse might have been on a “national scale”.
Scotland Yard has formally recorded eight criminal allegations against the former Top Of The Pops presenter so far in its investigation, named Operation Yewtree.
The alleged abuse involves teenage girls as young as 13 and includes two complaints of rape and six of indecent assault, with officers looking into up to 120 lines of inquiry.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations at Scotland Yard, said the allegations span four decades, the earliest of which dates back to 1959. Mr Spindler said although it is early in the inquiry, the information so far suggests Savile possessed a “predilection for teenage girls”.
He said: “The reality is this really has captured the public’s mind. We are getting calls from victims, from witnesses and third parties who believe they know something about it. We have formally recorded eight criminal allegations against Savile. Two of those are rape, six of indecent assault.
“These are primarily against girls in their mid-teens, so between 13 and 16, and it spans four decades of abuse. The pattern of his offending behaviour does appear to be on a national scale.”
Mr Spindler said the first allegation dates back to about 1959 but most claims seemed to be from the 1970s and 80s.
Scotland Yard has contacted ITV and the BBC, which in turn are contacting alleged victims to see if they will co-operate, he said. Mr Spindler added: “We believe there are probably another 20 potential victims there.
“It is too early for us to give you an accurate picture of what 120 lines of inquiry will distill down to but we believe we will come up with between 20 to 25 victims.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said at least five forces - the Met, Surrey, Sussex, Northamptonshire and Jersey - are investigating allegations.
As well as claims relating to alleged abuse at the BBC, Jersey’s Haut de la Garenne children’s home, and Duncroft Approved School for Girls near Staines, Surrey, police have contacted Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Leeds Royal Infirmary, where Savile did charity work.