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Monday, 15 October 2012

Jimmy Savile and why we need answers

We have all been shocked by the developing story of sex abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile. 

There are no fewer than 340 lines of inquiry being pursued by the Metropolitan Police following evidence from forces across the country. The allegations are increasing both in severity and in number –

This is becoming one of the most extensive investigations of its kind in recent years.

Questions are now being raised about whether there is any point in using limited resources investigating allegations where the offender cannot now be prosecuted. That may be so but there are wider issues here and the matter should be given the fullest possible investigation for a number of reasons –

  1. The victims need to know that they are being heard; that they will not be disregarded as many seem to have been over the years.
  2. Others may well have been involved. This could lead to criminal charges and also civil proceedings if organizations such as the BBC could and should have done more to protect the vulnerable victims.
  3. There could be significant civil claims for compensation against Savile’s estate. There is very little that money can do in situations like this but it is at least an acknowledgment that a victim is entitled to justice.
  4. Society needs to send a clear message that abuse of this kind is never acceptable, regardless of the high profile of the person involved.
  5. Lessons need to be learned for the future.

In addition there is a legacy charity which carries his name. This raises legal complications as the trustees will want to distance themselves from him –

There is no doubt that this case raises issues of huge importance and it is to be hoped that the concerns are given all of the attention and resources that they deserve.

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