HOW COPS BUN­GLED SAV­ILE CAR­A­VAN SEX ATTACK PROBE Woman’s com­plaint was a missed op­por­tu­nity

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Sav­ile A PO­LICE force missed an op­por­tu­nity to in­ves­ti­gate Jimmy Sav­ile by mis­han­dling a re­port that he sex­u­ally as­saulted a woman.

De­tec­tives at Sus­sex Po­lice did not fol­low all lines of in­quiry prop­erly af­ter a woman al­leged in March 2008 that she was at­tacked by Sav­ile in a car­a­van in Wor­thing in 1970, the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion said.

Although there was no ev­i­dence that of­fi­cers de­lib­er­ately dis­suaded the woman from pur­su­ing the al­le­ga­tion, she felt re­luc­tant to do so fol­low­ing con­tact with po­lice, the IPCC re­port said.

IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green said: “Greater ef­forts should have been made by po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tion and to en­cour­age the woman to sup­port an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“She showed con­sid­er­able courage in com­ing for­ward to po­lice, but re­gret­tably she felt that the two of­fi­cers who vis­ited her had a neg­a­tive at­ti­tude to­wards her pur­su­ing her al­le­ga­tion.

“Not send­ing a trained fe­male of­fi­cer, cou­pled with the per­ceived ab­sence of sup­port, re­sulted in a missed op­por­tu­nity by Sus­sex Po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate Sav­ile in 2008.”

A male constable and sergeant who vis­ited the woman in March 2008 were ex­pe­ri­enced CID de­tec­tives.

The woman – re­ferred to as Mrs A – told the IPCC that she was in her early 20s when she was the vic­tim of a se­ri­ous sex­ual as­sault by Sav­ile in 1970 af­ter meet­ing him at a Chelsea Pen­sion­ers event at Wor­thing Town Hall.

She did not re­port the in­ci­dent to po­lice at the time but did in­form her then hus­band, who wrote a let­ter to Sav­ile chal­leng­ing him about it.

She de­scribed be­ing “se­verely af­fected” by her ex­pe­ri­ence over the years.

Mrs A con­tacted a news­pa­per to de­scribe her ex­pe­ri­ence at the hands of se­rial sex of­fender Sav­ile, who died in 2011, af­ter watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary about the for­mer Jim’ll Fix It pre­sen­ter.

Af­ter con­tact­ing po­lice, two of­fi­cers vis­ited her later that day. She told IPCC in­ves­ti­ga­tors that she felt “they frighten me off”.

She said she was told Sav­ile would have “the best lawyers in the coun­try” who would make “mince­meat” out of her.

She also claimed both of­fi­cers burst out laugh­ing when Of­fi­cer A said, “Well he didn’t get his break­fast so he had to have his din­ner” as she de­scribed how Sav­ile be­haved af­ter the as­sault.



An Act­ing De­tec­tive Chief in­spec­tor who re­viewed and closed the case in April 2008 said that with­out the woman’s sup­port it would be dif­fi­cult to prove a sex­ual of­fence had taken place.

Four of­fi­cers sub­ject to the in­quiry were found by the IPCC to have no case to an­swer for mis­con­duct.

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