More than 500 come forward as victims in Savile inquiry

More than 500 people have come forward as victims of the late DJ and television presenter Jimmy Savile, police said today.

More than 200 allegations of sexual assault have been recorded, Scotland Yard said, with a report into child sex crimes by Savile, who died in October last year at the age of 84, due to be published early in the New Year.

The report draws on the testimony of scores of victims and “will provide as clear a picture as possible” of Savile’s offending, a force spokesman said.

Savile is now believed to have been one of the UK’s most prolific abusers. It is alleged the TV star abused young people on BBC premises, in hospitals, care homes and at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

“We are extremely grateful to those victims who have contacted us and commend their bravery. Without them we would have no investigation,” a spokesman said.

“To date, in excess of 500 victims have come forward and we have recorded 200 allegations of sexual assault.”

Seven people, including celebrity publicist Max Clifford, have been questioned in connection with Operation Yewtree, which involves a team of 30 officers and has already cost around £2m (€2.5m).

Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others, with the report covering the first of those strands.

“The report is based on information provided from scores of victims who have come forward since early October,” the police spokesman said.

“Details and data are still being assessed and finalised.

“It is hoped it will be published early in the New Year and will provide as clear a picture as possible on Savile’s offending, giving a voice to those who have come forward and helping shape future child protection safeguards.”

Mr Clifford protested his innocence after being questioned by detectives last Thursday.

The publicist, who was held at his Surrey home on suspicion of sexual offences and taken to Belgravia police station in central London for questioning, said the allegations were “damaging and totally untrue”.

Other high-profile names arrested in connection with the investigation include Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and a man in his 70s, reported to be former television producer Wilfred De’Ath.

The latest person to be arrested was a man in his 60s from London, who was picked up 6.45am yesterday on suspicion of sexual offences and taken to a south London police station.

He fell under the strand of the investigation termed “others” and was later bailed until a date in January, Scotland Yard said.

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