Two reports on Jimmy Savile out today have labelled him a "prolific, predatory sex offender" who could have been prosecuted for offences against at least three victims while he was alive.
A report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC state he used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight", with 214 criminal offences now recorded against him across 28 police forces, a report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC found.
It also confirmed Savile abused his victims at 14 medical sites including hospitals, mental health units and even a hospice.
it brings into question the accusation his victims waited until after his death to come forward - Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009 had police taken victims more seriously.
DPP Keir Starmer said: "I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for the shortcomings in the part played by the CPS in these cases.
"If this report and my apology are to serve their full purpose, then this must be seen as a watershed moment."
A total of 450 people have come forward alleging sexual abuse against Savile since October, and within the recorded crimes, there are 34 rapes and 126 indecent acts, the police and NSPCC report said.
Of his victims, 73 per cent were children, with the total victim age range between eight and 47 years old at the time of the offences.
Commander Peter Spindler, who is leading the national investigation into Savile's abuse, said: "Savile's offending footprint was vast, predatory and opportunistic. He cannot face justice today, but we hope this report gives some comfort to his hundreds of victims. They have been listened to and taken seriously."
Mr Spindler said so far 617 people had made contact with officers investigating claims against Savile and other figures in the entertainment industry, with 450 directly relating to Savile.
The police report found that the earliest reported offence committed by Savile was in Manchester in 1955, and the final reported allegation was in 2009.
The offences cover the period when Savile worked at the BBC between 1965 and 2006 and include allegations linked to the final recording of Top of the Pops.
They also involve the period when he worked at Leeds General Infirmary between 1965 and 1995.
Abuse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital took place between 1965 and 1988, while at Duncroft School, a children's home, the allegations cover a period between 1970 and 1978.
The peak was between 1966 and 1976, when he was aged between 40 and 50.
Chance to prosecute "missed"
Prosecutors failed to take three abuse allegations against Savile - which could have led to charges -seriously enough, a report has found.
The joint police and NSPCC report into the late TV presenter has found details of a review of the decision not to prosecute Savile in 2009 by Alison Levitt QC, legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions (DPP).
She found that "had the police and prosecutors taken a different approach" prosecutions could have been possible in relation to three victims.
Ms Levitt said that there was nothing to suggest the victims had colluded in their stories, or that they were unreliable.
Police and prosecutors treated their claims "with a degree of caution which was neither justified nor required", she said.
One claim relates to Surrey Police, who received an allegation in May 2007 that Savile had sexually assaulted a teenager at Duncroft Children's Home in the late 1970s.
The second was that in the 1970s Jimmy Savile had suggested to a girl aged about 17, again at Duncroft, that she perform sexual acts on him.
And in March 2008, Sussex Police received a complaint Savile had sexually assaulted a woman in her early twenties in a caravan in Sussex in about 1970.
Surrey Police consulted with the CPS about all four allegations, and in October 2009 it was decided no prosecution could be brought because the alleged victims would not support police action.