The former head of Operation Yewtree has admitted police "got some thingswrong" during its investigation into child sexual abuse in the wake of theJimmy Savile scandal.

Peter Spindler, a retired Metropolitan Police commander, said some detectives who worked with the probe "didn't have the skills and knowledge" needed and the inquiry was not set up quickly enough.

Mr Spindler was speaking at the NSPCC's headquarters in London during a debate on whether non-recent sexual abuse investigations had descended into "media witch-hunts".

Yewtree is now a global brand. It's embedded itself in the national psyche. It has empowered victims to come forward in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously.

Peter Spindler

Mr Spindler said the media had a "ferocious appetite" but insisted theMetropolitan Police did not release the names of suspects before they werecharged.

He said 30,000 victims who had yet to report abuse were expected to comeforward to the Goddard inquiry, the independent investigation into child sexual abuse.

Peter Spindler in 2012 Credit: Press Association

Operation Hydrant, set up by the National Police Chiefs' Council to investigate child sexual abuse allegations, had the names of more than 2,000 suspects and 670 institutions where abuse was said to have happened, he said.

"These people can't all be making it up, they haven't all got it wrong," MrSpindler said.

Around 70 complaints were being investigated by the Independent PoliceComplaints Commission in which victims said they were not taken seriously or crimes were covered up, he added.

Operation Yewtree was launched in October 2012 to investigate alleged abuse by Savile and others.