Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Merseyside Police under fire for ignoring Jimmy Savile abuse victim claims
MERSEYSIDE Police are among forces across the country coming under fire for ignoring Jimmy Savile’s abuse victims.
Policing inspectors at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have warned that there is a “distinct possibility” that officers could fail to prevent another Savile-like scandal.
The report showed that the Met Police received an anonymous letter in 1998 alleging that Savile was a paedophile, while five victims made complaints against him to the Met, Surrey and Sussex.
But the HMIC also expressed concern that four victims tried unsuccessfully to report crimes to police forces in Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire and the then Royal Ulster Constabulary.
It was revealed in January that Savile had abused a patient at St Catherine’s Hospital in Birkenhead in 1964 – meaning the case would be among the earliest incidents to have taken place.
Wirral Community NHS Trust expressed their “shock” as the news came to light and said staff were unaware of the incident.
But it is not known whether the Merseyside victim referred to in the latest report is the patient from St Catherine’s.
According to the HMIC, the disgraced presenter could have been stopped as soon as 1964 but officers across the country failed to act on intelligence.
A damning report by the Met Police and the NSPCC said Savile's offending spanned from 1955 to 2009, meaning his reign of abuse could have been cut short by 45 years.
Alan Collins, a solicitor from law firm Pannone who is representing more than 40 of Savile's victims, said further opportunities to investigate Savile were lost.
He said: "Consequently, Savile was able to carry on regardless, duping the country in the process, and the price was paid by his many victims. There is a definite risk that unless policies and attitudes change, Savile will happen again.”
In a statement released on the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website, lead on intelligence Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “The HMIC report published today recognises that there has been improvements in the police response to child abuse and progress more generally in the service’s handling of intelligence material.
“However, there are clearly areas that the service needs to improve upon.”
He added: “As the service has stated before - the lessons of the Savile disclosures reinforce the importance of the work the police service has done to increase our focus on supporting victims and survivors of sexual offences, whether they are children or adults.
“It takes great courage to report abuse. There are still victims and survivors out there who haven’t disclosed to anyone and we encourage them to use those help lines available or report to their local police force.”