North Yorkshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over its handling of child sex abuse allegations made against the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile, the force said.
The formal referral, made yesterday (Thursday), follows an internal inquiry conducted by the force.
The referral relates to how the force responded to an allegation it received more than a decade ago about 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 - who holidayed in Cragg Vale - 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.”
A police spokesman said the inquiries made by the force had 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,” he said.
Information has already been referred by North Yorkshire Police to Operation Yewtree, the national investigation into allegations regarding Savile’s activities.