BBC 'horrified' by Savile claims

Blackpool Citizen: Sir Jimmy Savile died at his Leeds home on October 29 last year, aged 84 Sir Jimmy Savile died at his Leeds home on October 29 last year, aged 84

The BBC has said it will assist police with child abuse allegations involving the DJ and presenter Sir Jimmy Savile.

It comes as an historic rape allegation made against the entertainer was referred to Scotland Yard by officers in Surrey, and revelations that other allegations against Savile were dropped because of a lack of evidence.

A spokesman for the BBC said: "A number of serious and disturbing allegations have been made over the past few days about the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jimmy Savile.

"Some of these allegations relate to activity on BBC premises in the 1960s and 70s. We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened at the BBC - or have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC.

"We have today asked the BBC investigations unit to make direct contact with all the police forces in receipt of allegations and offer to help them investigate these matters and provide full support to any lines of inquiry they wish to pursue."

The investigations unit is a division of the BBC responsible for security and safety matters within the corporation.

A spokeswoman for Surrey Police said a woman reported an historic allegation of rape on Monday. It was also revealed on Tuesday that Jersey and Surrey police both investigated accusations made against the entertainer about alleged abuse in two children's homes, but decided there was not enough evidence to proceed.

A spokeswoman for Jersey police said: "During the course of the States of Jersey Police's historic abuse investigation, a verbal allegation of indecent assault said to have occurred during the 1970s at the former children's home Haut de la Garenne was received. The allegation was investigated but there was insufficient evidence to proceed."

In 2007, Surrey Police received an allegation of indecent assault that was alleged to have taken place at a children's home in Staines during the 1970s. The force said that the matter was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision but they advised there was insufficient evidence to take any further action.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon said the current affairs show dropped a story about the allegations against Savile because it "had not established any institutional failure" on behalf of the police or Crown Prosecution Service and not because of pressure from within the corporation.

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