Police force hands itself in over abuse claims

Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli were close friends
Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli were close friends

North Yorkshire Police has handed itself in to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over child sex abuse allegations about Jimmy Savile and former borough mayor Peter Jaconelli.

The force has said that were he alive today, Jaconelli would have been interviewed under caution and his case referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

As a result, the force has made a voluntary referral concerning the way in which it recorded and responded to reports it received against the two men and how this information was handled.

The formal referral, made yesterday (April 3), follows an internal enquiry conducted by the force.

The referral relates to how North Yorkshire Police responded to an allegation it received over a decade ago about Jimmy Savile, who died in October 2011, and about several allegations made recently about Savile’s friend, Scarborough resident Peter Jaconelli, who died in 1999.

The referral also relates to whether any information it held on record about Savile or his known associates was properly and comprehensively disclosed to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) when it, and other police forces in England and Wales, were asked to do so by HMIC in December 2012 and again by the IPCC in May last year.

The Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, said: “There has been, quite rightly, significant public interest in how the police service nationally responded to reports relating to alleged offending by both Savile and his known associates.

“In order to determine whether North Yorkshire Police responded appropriately to information we may have received, I instructed that an immediate review all of our systems be completed to ascertain if there was any recorded information in relation to Savile, Jaconelli and their known associates and friends, in respect of any reported offending.

“As a result of this review, I have referred the matter to the IPCC for their consideration.

“It is imperative that the public, especially victims, have confidence in the police, and that we are trusted to record and investigate all allegations of crime that we receive.”

North Yorkshire Police enquiries have already obtained evidence from a number of identified witnesses. Such is the nature of the evidence that, if he were alive today, Peter Jaconelli would have been interviewed under caution and a file of evidence would have been submitted for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Information has already been referred by North Yorkshire Police to Operation Yewtree, the national investigation into allegations regarding Savile’s activities.