Review shows no evidence police protected Savile

Friday 10 May 2013 20.27
Jimmy Savile held regular Friday Morning Club gatherings at his Leeds penthouse
Jimmy Savile held regular Friday Morning Club gatherings at his Leeds penthouse

A review into a police force's contacts with Jimmy Savile has concluded that there is no evidence its officers protected him from arrest or prosecution.

The West Yorkshire Police report examined the history of Savile's relationship with the force, including reports that officers attended his well-known Friday Morning Club at his Leeds flat.

The report said 68 of Savile's victims have now come forward in the area.

Jimmy Savile himself admitted that he met senior police officers as part of his regular Friday Morning Club at his Leeds penthouse.

The West Yorkshire Police report published today concluded: "Concerns have been expressed in relation to the FMC. The inquiry has found no evidence to support these concerns.

"In spite of the rumour and speculation surrounding this meeting, no evidence has been found of any police impropriety or misconduct."

But the report said the inquiry wanted to establish "once and for all" what actually happened at the FMC.

It said investigators have traced and interviewed everyone known to have been involved in what it concluded was "an occasional meeting of a group of people to have coffee, tea and a chat about current affairs or Savile's celebrity tales at Savile's home address".

This involved talking to 40 people.

One sergeant told detectives that he first met Savile as a community officer and was invited for a coffee.

The officer said this then became a regular engagement at a time when he was being encouraged to establish community links.

"Sergeant B said nothing occurred at the FMC that compromised his position as a serving WYP officer," today's report said.

The inquiry concluded that over the two decades Savile held his Friday morning meetings, up to eight police officers attended over different periods of time.

Most said they were invited by an unnamed inspector, who was named by Savile when he was interviewed by Surrey Police in 2009.

Four of the officers attended on one occasion only, but four of them attended on a regular basis over a number of years.

"All of the officers spoken to describe the visit to Savile's home as nothing more than a short social gathering where people would chat and drink tea," the report said.

"They said that there would be a mixture of people present, the majority being Savile's friends."

The report said other attendees included Savile's childhood friends, his hairdresser, a retired pharmacist and the pharmacist's adult son, a local shop owner, a retired dentist, Savile's personal assistant and his cleaner.

It said a BBC Radio Leeds team once went to the meeting and "describe seeing four or five 50 to 60-year-old men drinking coffee and eating cakes".

The report confirmed a number of the officers remember Savile occasionally reading out letters that he would later describe as "weirdo" letters in his Surrey Police interview.

Almost all of the letters were begging letters or requests for a charitable donation, the officers told investigators.

The report said: "They are adamant that the letters they saw did not involve any accusations of sexual assault or any other crime committed by Savile and the letters remained with him."

The inspector did recall one letter that contained threats of violence but nothing of a criminal or sexual nature.

West Yorkshire Police have passed all information about the FMC to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.