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The 1998 letter that warned police about Jimmy Savile

“The image that Jimmy Savile has tried to portray over the years is someone who is deeply concerned with his fellow man; however, the thrust of this is entirely the opposite.”

Image: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A REPORT INTO police forces’ handling of allegations against and information about Jimmy Savile during his lifetime was published today.

It found that many mistakes were made by authorities in England between 1964 and 2012, which meant the late television presenter could continue with criminal activities unencumbered for decades.

Since Operation Yewtree was launched last year, more than 600 people have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the former BBC host – now known to be one of the most prolific sex offenders the UK has ever seen. But suspicions about Savile were raised decades before a 2012 ITV documentary revealed his “secret life”.

In light of what is now known, the most distressing piece of evidence is probably a 1998 anonymous and uncorroborated letter sent to the Vice Squad at Scotland Yard. Its details are republished in full in the HMIC report:

I supply here information which if looked into by one of your officers will yield a secret life not unlike that of [name].

I can not (sic) give you my name as I am too closely involved and do not wish to be in the limelight and have the finger pointed at myself. If you think this is not a genuine letter, then it is your loss.

The image that Jimmy Savile has tried to portray over the years is someone who is deeply concerned with his fellow man; however, the thrust of this is entirely the opposite. His fundraising activities are not out of altruistic motives, but purely for selfish advancement and an easy living. He has slimed his way in wherever possible.

He has tried to hide his homosexuality, which in any event is an open secret with those who know; but did you know that he is also a deeply committed paedophile, and involved in buggery with young children. An incident that happened some years ago (not that long) was when he was involved with a young ‘rent boy’.

This rent boy followed him to [place]. Jimmy Savile foolishly gave this rent boy his Leeds telephone number [set out in the text] which he has now subsequently changed; this was because he was having threatening calls from this rent boy, who was going to go to the press and expose him for his paedophilia, if he did not give him more money.

I know at the time he was extremely angry and frightened. How it ended, I really do not know.

What can not (sic) be acceptable and must be stopped is Jimmy Savile’s paedophilia. I know he has pornography, but do not know which of his houses it is in. Regularly, he runs for the ‘Life’ charity in Roundhay Park in Leeds, he would say ‘Now I’ve had a run, I feel like some bum’. And would then later in the evening go where the rent boys hang out.

He thinks he is untouchable because of the people he mixes with, and again I know from personal experience, that they find him amusing and the butt of many jokes. There are many more things I could tell you, but they are trivial in comparison to the main issue.

sickened. (sic) Please, do not let him get away with this perversion and that he feels immune because of the people he mixes with. There are too many of his perverted type around – don’t let him continue to think he is untouchable, or that his secret is too well hidden. [Name] made a mistake, don’t let Jimmy Savile get away with it either.

When Jimmy Savile fails, and sooner or later he will, a lot of well-known personalities and past politicians are going to fall with him.

I have done my duty, my conscience is clear, you have the power, time, and resources at Scotland Yard to wheedle him out, and expose him for what he really is. If you think this is a hoax, or a crank letter, think again. It is not I who suffer if you do nothing, but the children.

Although it was initially filed as uncorroborated intelligence, the note was converted into an intelligence record and graded as an “untested source”. Its reliability could not be ascertained. A copy was forwarded to police in Leeds and the Organised Crime Group Paedophilia Unit with the MPS but no subsequent enquiries were made.

The inspectorate report then finds that a crucial decision was then taken by the London force. It decided to classify the intelligence as “sensitive” because of Savile’s celebrity status and the nature of the allegations.

This categorisation meant that the intelligence was not readily available in a search. It required any police officer, inside or outside the MPS, who was researching Savile, to make a specific request of the Intelligence Bureau and demonstrate why the search was necessary before details would be disclosed.

The letter was not available on a national database until May 2012.

It was not the only missed opportunity by police. Allegations were made against Savile as early as 1963 but no intelligence file or investigation followed.

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He died in October 2011.

Senior police official in Manchester, Sir Peter Fahy has acknowledged the failings of authorities in this case but insists blame does not lie with individuals.  He noted that there is no “exact science” for dealing with intelligence, and pointed to the complexity of the issue and the way the criminal justice system affects the victims of sexual offence.

He also outlined the problems that can arise by having 43 separate police forces across England and Wales without a national headquarters.

Mistakes in Savile case ‘could happen all over again’

Download the full HMIC report here>

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