Savile possibly 'one of the most prolific sex offenders' ever

Police will pursue 400 lines of inquiry
Police will pursue 400 lines of inquiry Photo: Press Association

The inquiry into the alleged child sex abuse by Jimmy Savile is now a formal criminal investigation involving other living people, Scotland Yard announced today.

Operation Yewtree has been moved to a criminal investigation after officers established more than 400 lines of inquiry and identified more than 200 potential victims.

Scotland Yard said there are lines of inquiry involving "living people that require formal identification."

Commander Peter Spindler said the scale of alleged abuse was "unprecedented" and involved a "staggering number of victims"

The profile of this operation has empowered a staggering number of victims to come forward to report the sexual exploitation which occurred during their childhood.

I am pleased that victims feel confident enough to speak out about the abuse they suffered and would like to reassure the public that we take all these cases very seriously and they will be investigated with the utmost sensitivity.

The NSPCC said it was possible the late BBC presenter was "one of the most prolific sex offenders" the charity had ever seen. Peter Watt, head of the NSPCC's helpline said:

It's now looking possible that Jimmy Savile was one the most prolific sex offenders the NSPCC has ever come across. We have received over 136 calls directly relating to allegations against him which we've passed to the police.