Report: Police too cautious in Savile case

Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM

LONDON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Police in Britain were being too cautious when they didn't investigate the allegations by four women that BBC host Jimmy Savile abused them, an official said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer released a report criticizing the handling of the allegations made by women as young as 14 at the time of the alleged sexual abuse in the 1970s, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The report said police treated the allegations with a "degree of caution, which was neither justified or necessary."

He said police did not tell the women, who made their allegations separately, that other women had come forward against Savile. The women said they would have been prepared to testify had they known there were other victims.

"Many people feel that for sexual offenses, where it is one person's word against another's" and little to no physical evidence, no prosecution should be brought, Starmer said.

"But this is to ignore the reality of many sexual offenses, which, by their nature, do not usually take place in front of witnesses and result in no meaningful scientific evidence," he added.

"Taking a cautious approach to all complainants, on the ground that some might be making a false allegation of a sexual offense, can have the consequence that a prosecution for a true complaint may not take place."

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