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LONDON — The BBC said Friday it was “appalled” about the extent of the alleged sexual abuse carried out by former Top of The Pops host and BBC stalwart Jimmy Savile, including on its premises.
The U.K. public broadcaster also reiterated its pledge to put systems and structures in place to ensure such a scandal can never happen again inside the BBC, including at its TV and radio studios. Friday’s report had cited 33 abuse cases in studios.
The BBC issued a statement in the immediate aftermath of the publication of the official probe by London’s Metropolitan Police, better known as Scotland Yard, into allegations of widespread sexual abuse by Savile.
The BBC described the 30-page report, entitled “Giving Victims a Voice,” which recorded 214 crimes and about 450 overall complaints of abuse by the former presenter, as containing “shocking revelations.”
The BBC statement read: “As we have made clear, the BBC is appalled that some of the offenses were committed on its premises. We would like to restate our sincere apology to the victims of these crimes.”
The broadcaster also reminded the media, public and victims alike that it “will continue to work with the police to help them investigate these matters.”
Referencing its activities in preventing such crimes within the BBC, the statement concluded: “We have also set up the Dame Janet Smith Review to help us understand how these crimes could have been committed and how we can avoid them happening ever again.”
Smith and her team are looking into the culture at the broadcaster between 1965 and 2006 when the abuse cases at the BBC took place.
According to the police, the total number of Savile victims could be about 450, with most of them alleging sexual abuse. So far, 214 crimes have been recorded, including 34 of rape, police said. The report cited 33 cases of abuse in TV or radio studios, which are all believed to be BBC premises.
The investigators say the account paints a “compelling picture of widespread sexual abuse by a predatory sex offender.”
Savile died in October 2011 at age 84, a year before the abuse allegations emerged.
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