Jimmy Savile Abuse Victims Demand Single Inquiry

Jimmy Savile 1973 - P 2012
Hulton Archive

Jimmy Savile 1973 - P 2012

Around 50 people who say they were abused by the ex-BBC host have called for one overarching investigation into how he evaded justice for so long.

LONDON -- Some of late BBC host Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse victims have banded together to call for a single inquiry into how the former Top of The Pops host and public broadcaster stalwart managed to evade justice.

As it stands, there are more than 30 individual investigations being carried out by organizations linked to Savile and his pattern of long-standing abuse.

STORY: Jimmy Savile Scandal: Victims of Alleged Sexual Abuse Sue BBC

About 50 of the people who have reported being abused say they fear key questions will not be answered about how Savile, who died in 2011, operated both at the BBC and beyond.

But the NSPCC charity told the BBC creating one overarching inquiry could mean lessons are not learnt as quickly.

Solicitor Alan Collins, who is representing 60 of Savile's victims in compensation claims, said the majority of his clients fear an unsatisfactory resolution from the separate investigations.

Collins told the BBC: "It should be one inquiry, chaired by a high court judge. I fear if this does not happen, an opportunity will have been lost, not only for the victims but for the country as a whole.

"The risk (of not having one inquiry) is justice may be incomplete."

He added that victims want an investigation with the power to summon witnesses and compel documents to be released. The current inquiries are accused of lacking sufficient scope, independence and powers to address the key questions.

One victim, who was abused by Savile when he was 15, noted on the BBC's news website that there are too many individual inquiries.

The 64-year-old unnamed victim said: "Surely it would be best... if there was just one inquiry led by someone competent and, when all the evidence was gathered from up and down the country, they collated it and then we might know exactly why Jimmy Savile got away with serious sexual abuse for nearly 50 years."

Allegations about Savile first emerged following an ITV expose in October 2012, in which several women said they were abused by the presenter when they were teenagers.

The commercial network's expose rocked the U.K. public broadcaster BBC after it emerged that the presenter is believed to have abused mostly young people decades ago, including on BBC premises, and it also emerged in 2012 that BBC flagship news show Newsnight had dropped an investigation into allegations against him the previous year.

Following the revelations, hundreds of calls were made to the police and charity help lines alleging abuse by Savile on both BBC premises and at various hospitals around the country he visited as part of his charity work.

The BBC's independent inquiry, led by Dame Janet Smith, into what the corporation knew about Jimmy Savile is due to publish its findings later this month January.