No Evidence Police Protected Savile
10 May 2013, 07:39
A review into West Yorkshire Police's contacts with Jimmy Savile has found no evidence its officers protected him from arrest.
The report looked at the history of Savile's relationship with the force, including reports that officers attended his well-known Friday Morning Club at his Leeds flat.
The report concluded:
"There is no evidence that he was protected from arrest or prosecution for any offences as a result of his relationship with WYP, or individual friendships with officers.
All of those people spoken to who had knowledge of the Friday Morning Club described it as a 'coffee morning'."
Savile had friends who were police officers, but he also had friends that were solicitors, doctors and many other professions.
All inquiries have shown that Savile was able to hide his offending from those he came into contact with and who probably thought that they knew him well.''
The report also examined the way in which WYP used Savile's celebrity status to front a range of campaigns and appeals.
It stressed that at the time he was "seen by most of the public as a man who did good work''.
But it concluded:
"The review team have concerns regarding the absence of a process to secure Savile's services for some of these events and also the over reliance on personal friendships that developed between Savile and some officers over a number of years to secure that support."
The report said 68 of Savile's victims have now come forward in the force area.
In June 2009 Surrey Police wrote to Savile asking that he make contact and it is documented that WYP offered officer support if that interview was to be in West Yorkshire.
The report said an inspector from WYP - Insp A - contacted Surrey Police control on behalf of Savile because the DJ had lost the investigating officer's contact details.
During that conversation Insp A said he was a personal friend of Savile and also that "Jimmy gets so many of these type of complaints''.
Insp A provided a contact number to Surrey Police for Savile.
The report said:
"This was done by Insp A on WYP recorded communications systems but due to the passage of time therecording has now been destroyed in line with force policy at that time.''
The report said that Surrey officers said "that on initial contact, Savile had told them there was a West Yorkshire Inspector who normally deals with this sort of thing''.
Alan Collins, who represents more than 40 of Savile's victims, said he was "not impressed''.
He told ITV's Daybreak:
"The report begs a lot more questions.
It provides some answers but the report reveals memories that are not as sharp as perhaps they ought to be, 'can't remember', documents that can't seem to be located.
It doesn't add up. It seems to me that West Yorkshire Police over the years failed to join up the dots.
They had intelligence that something wasn't right, if I can put it as mildly as that, and, against that background, they were using Savile for crime prevention campaigns and so on.
So he's been given this aura of respectability again and again actually by West Yorkshire Police.
There are many, many excellent police officers.
But my take is that there seems to be a collective myopia and the collective myopia is evidenced by Savile.
Savile was able to run rings around the police for decades. He used police officers.
He was engrained with them, dovetailed with them.''