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Merseyside Police 'dealt appropriately' with Jimmy Savile sex abuse allegation
Merseyside Police has defended the way it handled an allegation made by a 19-year-old woman that she had been sexually abused by disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile.
A spokeswoman said the force has researched the case - criticised by police watchdogs - and is "completely confident" it had been dealt with appropriately.
The manner in which the complaint had been investigated was among several highlighted yesterday in the publication of a far-reaching review by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.
The HMIC report - entitled "Mistakes were Made" - showed Met Police received an anonymous letter in 1998 alleging Savile was a paedophile, while five victims made complaints against him to the Met, Surrey and Sussex.
The examination also expressed concern four victims tried unsuccessfully to report crimes to forces in Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire and the then Royal Ulster Constabulary.
The Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "We have researched this part of the report and can now say with complete confidence that a report received by this force was dealt with appropriately and not as suggested within the HMIC report.
"We can confirm that a 19-year-old woman made a complaint of historic sexual abuse to Merseyside Police in 1986.
"Officers took details of the complaint, which contained allegations of historic sexual abuse, which had not taken place in Merseyside.
"The Crown Prosecution Service looked at the case and according to the recollection of the victim - published in a national newspaper at the weekend - there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution."
She continued: "Merseyside Police fully supports the comments made by the Association of Chief Police Officers earlier today which state we need to ensure our systems are robust and that information is handled effectively so that we are doing all we can to protect the public from those who pose harm.
"We need to support our victims and ensure that the right systems and procedures are in place to give them confidence in the service we provide.
"It takes a great deal of courage to come forward and report abuse and would like to reassure any victims, who haven’t come forward, that we will fully investigate any reports of child sexual abuse."
Merseyside Police has a dedicated rape investigation team (Unity) and Family Crime Investigation Units, which are comprised of specially trained officers who are able to deal sensitively and appropriately with allegations of child sexual abuse.
The spokeswoman added: "We are determined to put the victims needs first and to assist us in doing this we have dedicated Sexual Offence Liaison Officers who work with victims of sexual assault from the moment the assault is reported through the court process, and dependent upon the needs of the individual this support may continue to be provided once the case has been finalised."
She stressed the issue was not connected in any way with an investigation by the Met's Operation Yewtree - set up in the wake of the Savile scandal - into allegations he had abused a female patient at St Catherine's Hospital in Birkenhead in the 1960s.