Jimmy Savile. Photo Reuters
British television star Jimmy Savile is suspected of
carrying out an unprecedented number of sex offences including
31 rapes, police say, in their most comprehensive review of the
Revelations about Savile, who died last year, provoked
outrage across Britain where he had been a household name
since the 1960s.
News of Savile's crimes threw his main employer the BBC into
turmoil, led to resignation of the BBC's director general
just 54 days into his job and provoked awkward questions for
his predecessor Mark Thompson, who recently took over as
chief executive of the New York Times.
Detectives launched their inquiry 10 weeks ago following
reports in a TV documentary that Savile had abused young
girls on BBC premises and at hospitals where he did charity
Since then, 450 people had come forward with allegations
about Savile, mostly dealing with sexual abuse, said police.
Savile was now a suspect in 199 crimes, the vast majority of
them involving children or young people, the force added.
"These levels of reporting of sexual abuse against a single
individual are unprecedented in the UK," the police said in a
Detectives have been examining three categories of alleged
offences: those involving only Savile, which make up the
majority of cases; those involving Savile and others; and
those which had no direct link to Savile.
So far six men have been arrested and another questioned by
Those quizzed include Max Clifford, Britain's most
high-profile celebrity publicist, former BBC radio DJ Dave
Lee Travis and former glam-rock singer Gary Glitter.
They have all denied any wrongdoing.
"Our officers will continue to investigate allegations made
against those who potentially can be brought to justice," the
police statement said. "More arrests nationally will be
A one-time professional wrestler with a penchant for garish
outfits, Savile became famous as a pioneering DJ in the 1960s
before hosting prime-time TV shows until the 1990s.
He ran about 200 marathons for charity, raising tens of
millions of pounds for hospitals, leading some to give him
keys to rooms where victims now allege they were abused.