Savile a suspect in 199 crimes, 31 rapes: police
Late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile is a suspect in 199 crimes, including 31 allegations of rape, police said Wednesday, adding that the scale of his alleged crimes was "unprecedented" in Britain.
Ten weeks after Scotland Yard began investigating claims that Savile was a paedophile, the London force confirmed that 589 people had come forward with information, of which 450 related to Savile, mainly alleging sex abuse.
Some 80 percent of the victims were children or young people, police said, while 82 percent who claimed they had been abused were female.
"These levels of reporting of sexual abuse against a single individual are unprecedented in the UK," Scotland Yard said in a statement.
The investigation into Savile, one of the BBC's top television and radio presenters, who died last year aged 84, was prompted by claims by five women on a television documentary on October 4.
It has since spawned 12 other inquiries or related reviews both into Savile himself -- by the BBC and other authorities -- and into unrelated sexual offences, such as abuse at a Welsh children's care home and child abuse by late lawmaker Cyril Smith.
Ten people have been arrested so far, including convicted paedophile and former glam rocker Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.
Radio presenter Dave Lee Travis and public relations guru Max Clifford have also been held, but not for child sex offences.
All those arrested protest their innocence.
Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations at Scotland Yard, paid tribute to the victims who had spoken out.
"As a result of their collective efforts we have a great opportunity to learn from the past, develop our understanding of sexual exploitation and improve our safeguarding procedures," he said.
"Our response should send a clear warning to anyone today now in a position of power and influence who abuse their status to sexually exploit children and young people -- victims will be listened to and robust action taken."
Police added that the Savile scandal had led to a "significant increase" in reports of historic child abuse and previously undisclosed adult sexual offences.
In London, there were 55 reports of non-recent rape and serious sexual offences in the month before the Savile investigation launched, compared to 299 in the month that followed it.
Scotland Yard's rape unit also saw a 100-percent increase in reported cases in October and November this year in comparison to 2011.
© 2012 AFP