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Surrey and Sussex police have come under fire - after a new report found they were among officers from across the UK that missed five chances to stop Jimmy Savile abusing children. Kate Bunkall reports.
Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby says the force agrees with and accepts HMIC conclusions that there are a number of learning points to come out of the Savile case.
"The HMIC review is clear that intelligence sharing between forces was critical to the eventual outcome of allegations made against Savile in his lifetime.
"I welcome their acknowledgement that in 2007 victims were taken seriously by Surrey Police and allegations were recorded correctly, but our investigators were unable to benefit from knowledge of any previous allegations made elsewhere in the country despite conducting national intelligence checks.
"The review concludes that, had Surrey investigators been made aware of these previous reports, our investigation would have been scaled up accordingly. One of the key issues was the decision not to share accounts between victims.
"Whilst the HMIC agree this was initially done correctly in order to avoid any suggestion of collusion between victims, the force accepts it should have been reviewed at a later stage and balanced against the confidence of victims to support the legal process.
"As the Director of Public Prosecutions has previously acknowledged, the officers working on this case were experienced and committed individuals who acted in good faith.
"We therefore support his recent announcement that the approach to victim credibility in the Criminal Justice System is flawed and the current national guidelines must be replaced.
"Surrey Police has already instigated its own programme of work to improve victim and witness care in historic sexual assault cases.
"As part of this, the Chief Constable has requested the College of Policing conduct a peer review looking at how victims and witnesses are supported to ensure we are taking the right approach going forward."
Sussex Deputy Chief Constable Giles York has commented on the HMIC report, which criticises the way allegations of abuse by Jimmy Savile were handled.
"We will study carefully this new report to ensure we understand all the further lessons that can be learned. I believe that victims of sexual crimes in Sussex can be very confident that their cases will treated compassionately and professionally.
"As soon as news about Jimmy Saville started to break in October last year, we commenced our own detailed internal management review, including looking at all our investigation reports, revisiting the victims in Sussex and talking to the officers involved. As a result we have improved our service.
"Sussex Police have spoken with 30 people who have come forward since October 2012, regarding incidents relating to Jimmy Savile. Six of these were victims of crimes committed in Sussex.
"We are encouraged by increased reporting, which indicates that victims are now confident enough to make their report and we will endeavour to achieve the best possible outcome for them.
"If there is any positive to be gained from the desperately disturbing revelations of the last six months, then I hope that a growing confidence in the way such crimes are investigated will be it."
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A new report is highly critical of two of our region's police forces and how they handled allegations of abuse against Jimmy Savile.