Police watchdog receives referral from West Yorkshire Police over Jimmy Savile investigation

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has received a referral from West Yorkshire Police regarding allegations about a former police inspector and the Jimmy Savile investigation.

The allegations refer to the officer having “acted on behalf” of Jimmy Savile by contacting Surrey Police ahead of a police interview in 2009.

The referral follows a direction from the IPCC to record and refer the conduct of the former inspector, identified in a Surrey Police report as ‘Inspector 5’.

In addition to this, the IPCC has written to seven police forces, including West Yorkshire, and asked them to review all relevant material and information to establish whether there are conduct matters that should be referred to the IPCC.

They have been asked to re-look at all information relating to the late Jimmy Savile. The IPCC has asked that each force provides the relevant documents and, if they decide not to record or refer any matters, the rationale for not doing so.

This decision follows the IPCC’s review of recently published reports - Operation Yewtree. The IPCC also reviewed information supplied by West Yorkshire Police, Sussex Police and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

The inspectorate is preparing a report for the Home Secretary on information known to the police and the response to historic allegations of criminal conduct in relation to Jimmy Savile.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “Having had the opportunity to assess all the information that is available to us, I directed West Yorkshire Police to record and refer the conduct of a former inspector.

“Furthermore I believe that all the forces that may have had intelligence concerning the late Jimmy Savile should now go back and consider all the relevant information and materials they possess that may highlight any recordable conduct issues for the IPCC to assess.

“A number of bodies are already working to address the deep rooted public concern in this case and have published reports.

“It is now for the IPCC to assess thoroughly whether or not there are matters in relation to the conduct of individual officers that require an IPCC investigation.

“This may be of little comfort to victims of crime but I hope that the IPCC can play some part in addressing what many see as a catalogue of institutional failings.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, welcomed the IPCC involvement.

“It is vitally important that the people of West Yorkshire and elsewhere understand what happened and the role that the police played during the many years that Savile lived in West Yorkshire and committed such shocking crimes here and throughout the UK,” he said.

“I have been in close consultation with HMIC to consider the best way of ensuring transparent scrutiny of the relevant facts. I have agreed with HMIC that it would be in the best interests of the public for this scrutiny to be overseen by the IPCC and the decision of the IPCC to take conduct of this matter under its control is the right one.

“I will continue to work closely with the IPCC and West Yorkshire Police to make sure that we can be certain of understanding the facts of what happened here and make sure that the public and the police have full confidence going forward.”

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Jawaid Akhtar said: “West Yorkshire Police very much welcomes the overview that the engagement of the IPCC will provide.

“The positive engagement between the force and the Police and Crime Commissioner with a desire by both to have a transparent understanding of what happened is important and we will co-operate fully with the IPCC.”