Jimmy Savile scandal – report reveals extent of abuse against children as young as eight

And a second report admits that cases might have been built against Savile while he was still alive if police had been less cautious

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Jimmy Savile scandal – report reveals extent of abuse against children as young as eight
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Paul Jones

Jimmy Savile committed 34 rapes and 126 indecent assaults against children as young as eight, according to a report published today by the Metropolitan Police and the NSPCC.

The former TV presenter committed a total of 214 offences, most of which were against minors, with allegations against him dating as far back as 1955.

Police investigations into Savile began in earnest last year after an ITV documentary made public allegations that he had abused young girls on BBC premises during his time as a Top of the Pops host in the 1970s.

Today's report confirms that he also preyed on children in 14 different medical institutions including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he absued 22 victims, and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as psychiatric units and one hospice.

Savile died in October 2011, aged 84, a year before the Exposure documentary was aired.

Today’s report, entitled Giving Victims a Voice, set out the findings from Operation Yewtree, the investigation launched by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC three months ago which has seen a number of other high-profile figures from the entertaiment world questioned by police.

The Crown Prosecution Service also published a review today of a decision in 2009 not to charge Savile with sexual offences following four complaints made to Sussex and Surrey police.

Alison Levitt QC, who was asked to consider the way police responded to the allegations, concluded that building a case against Savile “might have been possible in relation to three of the four allegations.”

Director of Prosecutions Keir Starmer apologised on behalf of the CPS, saying police could have pushed harder.

"The police and prosecutors treated [the victims] and the accounts they gave with a degree of caution which was neither justified nor required,” said Starmer. He added that he hoped the report would mark a "watershed moment" in the investigation of sexual abuse allegations.

The report found there was "nothing to suggest" the decisions were "consciously influenced by any improper motive on the part of either the police or prosecutors" but admitted they "did not probe... or seek to build a prosecution".

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