In the Media

ACPO response to Jimmy Savile reports

PUBLISHED January 11, 2013

ACPO lead on violence and public protection Chief Constable David Whatton said:

"The case of Jimmy Savile reveals a terrible example of sustained abuse by a manipulative individual exploiting a position of power over the vulnerable. Allegations of abuse made long after the event are important - they are not 'historic' for victims who may be living with consequences every day. The police service is committed to ensuring victims are supported and have access to justice. It is equally committed to pursuing offenders, many of whom, like Savile, will offend time and again unless stopped.

"The lessons of these 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. This has been achieved by working with partners such as sexual assault referral centres and specialist charities. The coordination and training of specialist police officers and lawyers who understand the needs of children and adults who have been raped or abused and understand the psyche of rapists and paedophiles is vital. The ever closer working relationship between the police and specially trained lawyers in the Crown Prosecution Service at the early stages of investigating allegations has made a difference to convicting rapists. The new proposals on joint police/CPS panels to reconsider decisions where victims who have made the allegations wish that their cases be looked at again, will provide a new mechanism for help to bringing to justice those who have preyed on the vulnerable.

"The investigation of sexual exploitation of children and rape and sexual assaults against adults has made progress in recent years, but there remains more to do and neither the police nor CPS are complacent. The Metropolitan Police investigation of the offences committed by Savile, Operation Yewtree, and the reviews of previous investigations against Savile by the Director of Public Prosecutions have reinforced the need to improve our evidence gathering and testing of suspects. We welcome the DPP's commitment to work with us to improve justice in this area. We also welcome the DPP's support in looking at how the court process works to protect victims and give them the confidence to give evidence as well as protecting the rights of suspects.

"In the area of sexual offending specifically relating to children, this case has again reinforced the learning from the Children's Commissioner and the importance of the ACPO Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan to continue to improve the ability of the police service to protect children and convict offenders.

"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."