The family of Jimmy Savile have removed the headstone from his grave out of "respect to public opinion".

British police have said the former entertainer could have abused up to 25 victims over 40 years.

Savile's family said they wanted to ensure the "dignity and sanctity" of the cemetery in Scarborough, England.

A number of memorials to Savile have already been removed, including an inscription on the wall at Leeds Civic Hall in recognition of his charity work, and a street sign in Scarborough.

A plaque outside his home has been defaced.

Police said yesterday that Savile's abuse might have been on a "national scale".

Scotland Yard has formally recorded eight criminal allegations against the former Top Of The Pops presenter so far in its investigation, named Operation Yewtree.

The alleged abuse involves teenage girls as young as 13 and includes two complaints of rape and six of indecent assault, with officers looking into up to 120 lines of inquiry.

Savile's headstone has been taken to a stonemason's yard in Leeds, where the inscription will be ground down and will then be broken up and sent to landfill.