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“Did North Yorkshire Police ‘fix it’ for Jim?”
- by Tim Hicks
Sir James Savile, Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough, and recipient of a variety of civic honours including the re-naming of a street and even a statue (fortunately now cancelled) – is now commonly believed to be Britain’s most reviled and prolific child-abuser.
His high social standing – and the public honours accorded to him by SBC – are even more astounding given that North Yorkshire Police had access to ample intelligence that he was a member of a large, well-connected and very active paedophile ring that operated with impunity in Scarborough for over forty years.
Unfortunately the local press has no commitment to investigative journalism, preferring to avoid controversy by publishing only bland local news and press releases supplied by the Council. Consequently national press coverage has focused on his activities in the BBC, London and Leeds; only the Daily/Sunday Express has given the Scarborough connection any quality coverage. To address this ‘Corruption Busters’ have initiated an investigation using local contacts unavailable to the national newspapers and some new information has emerged as a result.
The facts about Britain’s most prolific child-abuser and his activities in the Borough of Scarborough are as follows:
Seaside towns have always been magnets for runaways and other vulnerable young people from unsettled backgrounds. Therefore, one would expect Scarborough Police to have been alert to the risk of young people being abused and corrupted. One would expect them to plan their local policing and intelligence gathering accordingly, thereby proactively seeking to detect this type of offence and thereby to protect young children in the community.
Yet a North Yorkshire Police spokesperson has stated:
“When the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile were publicised, we carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection.”
- thereby completely and conveniently excusing NYP from any responsibility for their failure to arrest Savile, although it is blatantly obvious that a prominent local connection did exist.
Having established the following timeline of events, I find the official line of North Yorkshire Police lacking all credibility:
1958: Savile was interviewed under caution by West Yorkshire Police over allegations that he had abused young girls at the Mecca Locarno Ballroom in Leeds where he was manager. It has been alleged, by one of his associates at the time, that he bribed West Yorkshire Police Officers to drop the charges and that he routinely bribed Police Officers.
1971: Allegations were made that Savile was involved with a 15-year-old dancer from Top of the Pops who committed suicide. The investigation was led by a Detective Chief Superintendent and Savile was interviewed as a witness.
Late 1970s: Allegations were made that Savile had been abusing patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and this was reported to Buckinghamshire Police.
April 2000: In the excellent Louis Theroux documentary ‘When Louis Met Jimmy Savile’, Savile admitted that journalists had raised allegations that he was a paedophile. He also boasted that he tied up young people and held them captive in the basement of the Mecca Lucarno Ballroom and of his ability to pervert Police investigations so that consequently he was left completely alone by them, despite the very serious offences he admitted.
2003: North Yorkshire Police conducted a major paedophile investigation in Scarborough. Two men were jailed for abusing girls in the ‘Eighties – John Thomas White was jailed for 20 sex offences. Another man, Brian Rutter, was later cleared on appeal. According to press reports, there were rumours about Savile during that investigation (which the police must presumably have known), yet they ignored this line of enquiry and Savile was never even interviewed by North Yorkshire Police.
The report then goes on to state that North Yorkshire Police believed that a number of paedophiles were operating within the Scarborough area, including a man who abused children at his caravan overlooking the seaside resort. In the April 2000 documentary, Savile boasted that he had a Caravan in Scarborough where he took girls for sex. It therefore appears probable that the man who featured in the North Yorkshire Police investigation was in fact Savile and he was using his caravan in Scarborough to commit sexual offences against children. Yet North Yorkshire Police did not make this connection.
2004: During the trial, it was claimed that “there were no shortage of young girls drifting around Scarborough seafront in the 1980s, and no shortage of older men prepared to take advantage of them”. North Yorkshire Police was clearly aware of the potential for this type of offence in Scarborough and had a duty to actively combat it.
2007: Savile was interviewed under caution by Surrey Police over allegations that he had abused schoolgirls at Duncroft Approved School in the 1970’s.
2008: Sussex Police initiated an investigation into Savile over a sexual assault in Worthing in 1970.
2008: Jersey Police confirmed in 2008 that an allegation of an indecent assault by Savile, in the 1970s, at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home had been investigated.
2008: Savile started legal proceedings over articles linking him to Haut de la Garenne which initially he denied having visited, but later admitted that he had done so, following the publication of a photograph showing him there.
2012: Last week, two women contacted Scarborough’s local paper separately, claiming that Police Officers interviewed them in 2003 while investigating a paedophile ring that targeted young girls on the seafront. They were not abused, but both said Savile’s name was mentioned to them by the in vestigating Officers. One woman told the Daily Express that Police also mentioned Mr Peter Jaconelli and Mr Jimmy Corrigan. This constitutes independent confirmation by two separate witnesses that North Yorkshire Police were aware of paedophile activity in Scarborough and of Savile’s part in it.
All of this information was, or should have been, available to North Yorkshire Police through open sources, via the Police National Computer, through contacts with local people, from interviews with victims and the observations of Police Officers on the beat in the community throughout forty years and the considerable amount of Police intelligence, developed by their own investigations.
Yet Savile was never even interviewed by North Yorkshire Police.
People that work with vulnerable and young people are required to be vetted, but this was also apparently ignored.
North Yorkshire County Council, (the Local Education Authority) should also have been notified so schools could be protected.
In summary; the most prolific child-sex predator in the history of the UK operated alone and within a high profile paedophile ring in Scarborough for forty-two years, and although his offending has been covered in the national press and was well-known to journalists, to his colleagues, to local people and to SIX other Police Forces, North Yorkshire Police claim they knew nothing about it.
So why did North Yorkshire Police fail to protect the young people of Scarborough by detecting and arresting Savile?
There appear to be a number of possibilities:
Savile lived in Scarborough for over forty years, probably abused children for all of that time and, like former Mayor of Scarborough, County Councillor Peter Jaconelli, he was never inconvenienced by North Yorkshire Police at any time and completely escaped justice.
It is not well-known that Councillor Tom Fox served a thirty year career with the North Yorkshire Police, including a period as acting Head of the Scarborough Police division. He retired around 2000 and has since served as a prominent SBC Councillor and Leader for the past six years. A Real Whitby investigative journalist recently asked Councillor Fox the following question:
“Would the Leader confirm or deny that, as a former ranking Police Officer in Scarborough, and as long-serving leading Councillor since that time, he was aware that elements within the Authorities were cognisant of concerns of the gravest nature in respect of the activiites of Sir Jimmy Savile, yet nevertheless played a leading role in the lavish civic honours bestowed upon a man now widely reviled as the worst and most degenerate sexual predator inthe Borough’s history?”
Thus far, Councillor Tom Fox has offered no response – unless this statement to the Scarborough News (in regard to a proposal to strip Savile of his Freemanship of the Borough) can be considered a response:
“In addition, this council, in further acknowledgment of the serious predatory sexual allegations spanning over six decades, agrees that if the council had been aware of such revelations at the time of Sir Jimmy Savile’s nomination for ‘Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough’ the council would have refused it.”
That reads like a denial of all knowledge to me – one which has the same hollow ring to it as the one from North Yorkshire Police.
North Yorkshire Police were provided with the text of this article ahead of publication, to allow an opportunity for comment.
No comment has yet been forthcoming.