The police watchdog has launched a full investigation into claims that a former West Yorkshire inspector “acted on behalf” of Jimmy Savile before he was questioned over alleged sex crimes.
Claims were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission earlier this year that the officer, known as Inspector 5, had contacted Surrey Police before its detectives interviewed Savile in 2009, and today the watchdog announced its own investigation.
The announcement came after a transcript of the interview was published by Surrey, revealing how Savile bragged that he had “a collection” of police contacts in Leeds.
He told officers that he had been targeted with false claims by blackmailers, and said: “I have up in Yorkshire, where I live in Leeds, a collection of senior police persons who come to see me socially, but I give them all my weirdo letters.”
The disgraced broadcaster was quizzed by officers for almost an hour over accusations he forced one girl to touch his groin until he was “aroused”, made another perform oral sex and stuck his tongue down a young girl’s throat.
The former star remained defiant during the interview - which took place at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital on October 1, 2009 - boasting he had to fight off girls “like midges”.
Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, told officers he was “assaulted” by women when he worked for BBC Radio 1 and Top of the Pops, insisting he did not abuse the youngsters at Duncroft Children’s home in Staines in Berkshire in the 1970s,
The presenter told police the only reason the allegations were surfacing years later was because his fame made him an easy target and claimed his alleged victims were making the accusations for money.
He told police: “My business there’s women looking for a few quid, we always get something like this coming up for Christmas, because we want a few quid for Christmas right.
“And normally you can brush them away like midges and it’s not much of a price to pay for the lifestyle.”
Savile claimed his fame meant he had no need to “do anybody any harm”.
“When you’re doing Top of the Pops and Radio 1, what you don’t do, is assault women, they assault you, that’s for sure,” he said.
“And you don’t have to, because you’ve got plenty of girls about, and all that, so dealing with something like this, is out of the question and totally wrong, full stop.”
The transcripts also showed Savile was prepared to see the allegations go all the way to the Old Bailey.
He said he had already had five newspapers settle with him after he threatened to sue them and even referred to himself as the “Litigiousness”, given his willingness to take people to court.
“Now if you’re Litigiousness, people get quite nervous actually because for somebody that don’t want to go to court, I love it,” he said.
During the interview, released under the Freedom of information Act, Savile rejected suggestions he was attracted to girls under 16.
“No, they have nothing to offer, in so far as, they didn’t even have much of a conversation,” he said.
Liz Dux, head of abuse at law firm Slater & Gordon, which is representing 72 alleged victims, said: “The interview shows Savile to be a man with complete disdain and contempt for those that he was purporting to help.
“He boasts about his fundraising for the hospitals, his wealth and his powerful friends, demonstrating how his actions went unquestioned for so many years.
“His victims will be distressed to read that those that protected him put monetary gain and his celebrity above looking after their welfare.
“It’s clear from the interview and the detailed questioning from police that they must have had a lot of information at the time he was interviewed back in 2009.”
The interview emerged after Jeremy Hunt announced that more hospitals may be investigated as part of inquiries into abuse by Savile on NHS premises.
New information has come to light relating to investigations across 13 institutions as well as “reference to other hospitals”.
He has asked police to review all of the evidence before relevant information is passed on to investigators “as quickly as possible”.