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“Mistakes were made.” HMIC’s review into allegations and intelligence material concerning Jimmy Savile between 1964 and 2012

1.1 By letter dated 7 November 2012, the Home Secretary formally commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to conduct a review to assess the police knowledge of and response to the historical allegations made against the late Sir Jimmy Savile and related individuals and potentially into other similar allegations against other individuals.

1.2 In particular, the Home Secretary asked that this review should explicitly concentrate on establishing: which police forces received reports and/or allegations in respect of Savile and related individuals prior to the launch of Operation Yewtree (5 October 2012); and, with regard to those forces, the extent to which those allegations were robustly investigated and if there were any police failings in so doing.

1.3 Thereafter, the Home Secretary commissioned HMIC to identify the wider lessons to be learned both from the specific historical investigations by forces into allegations against Savile and related individuals, and from what has emerged as a result of Operation Yewtree undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). These wider lessons were to be assessed in the light of any relevant historical, environmental and cultural context that was identified as having a bearing on the decisions taken then in respect of those allegations.

1.4 Finally, the Home Secretary commissioned HMIC to make any necessary recommendations in relation to its findings when considered alongside current practice.

1.5 This report sets out our response to the Home Secretary’s commission insofar as it is appropriate to publish it at this stage in the light of current and potentially future enquiries and proceedings against individuals who would otherwise be considered in the category of “related” or “other” individuals.

1.6 We have considered in detail the way in which the three forces which investigated allegations against Savile in his lifetime dealt with their enquiries. We have then gone on to consider whether a different response would have been achieved if those forces had acted in concert. Our review has also identified issues around the management of police information which we set out in section 8. We have then considered our findings in the wider police and criminal justice system contexts.

1.7 We have considered how best to refer to the status of the allegations of those who have reported them. There appears to be a general acceptance that Savile was a prolific sex offender and a paedophile, although he was never convicted of any offence during his lifetime. Although mindful of that fact, we have nevertheless taken the decision to refer to his “crimes” rather than his “alleged crimes” in this review. We recognise, of course, that the allegations made against him have not been and will never be tested in a criminal law court, but the substantial number of victims who have come forward, unknown to one another for the most part we suspect, is indicative of a pattern of criminal behaviour by Savile that overwhelmingly suggests, if alive, he would have many cases to answer.