Police apology to Savile victims

8th October 2010. Sir Jimmy Savile at the new regional spinal injuries centre at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.

8th October 2010. Sir Jimmy Savile at the new regional spinal injuries centre at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.

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Police have apologised to victims of Jimmy Savile in North Yorkshire after admitting that officers missed opportunities to investigate allegations of abuse while he was still alive.

North Yorkshire Police made the apology after an investigation into the activities of Savile and former Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli over four decades concluded there would have been enough evidence to consider prosecuting both of them.

The force said five people had come forward in North Yorkshire with allegations relating to Savile, from 1979 to 1988, which ranged from sexual assault to rape.

“The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive,” said Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy. “Today, North Yorkshire Police apologises to the victims who made the brave decision to come forward during the past 18 months.”

North Yorkshire Police launched Operation Hibiscus in February after 35 people came forward with reports of sex abuse.

Mr Kennedy said: “It is important the victims have been able to make their allegations heard, and that their cases have been comprehensively examined by the police, regardless of the passage of time.

“It is a matter of great regret that, from the outset of the investigation, there was no prospect of true justice being achieved as the suspects are deceased.

“Hopefully, we are learning the lessons of the past and no one will get away with the systematic reign of abuse Savile did.”