Officers probed after woman’s Savile allegation

DETECTIVES who dealt with an indecent assault allegation on a Worthing woman by Jimmy Savile are to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The IPCC is investigating the conduct of four serving Sussex Police officers, who dealt with the complaint in March 2008.

The woman claimed she was assaulted by Savile in 1970 but no further action was taken.

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IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green, who is overseeing Savile investigations of several forces, said: “The investigation is examining interactions between Sussex Police officers and the victim and whether all lines of enquiry were properly pursued.”

Two of the officers, a detective sergeant and detective constable, visited the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after she contacted the force.

They have been served with gross misconduct notices.

The two other officers, a detective chief inspector and detective inspector, who had supervisory roles, have received misconduct notices.

None of the officers have been suspended while inquiries continue.

Their identities have also been withheld.

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In response, a spokesman for Sussex Police said they would fully cooperate with the independent inquiry.

They explained that a similar investigation was underway by Surrey Police at the time, which submitted material to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The CPS decided there should be no criminal prosecution against Savile.

The spokesman said: “The woman who made the Worthing allegation did not wish to give evidence in court, and in the absence of other corroborating evidence, a decision was therefore taken by supervising detectives not to take further action in the that case.”

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The IPCC review is not the first investigation into the issue, following an internal review by Sussex Police’s Crime Review Team in 2012.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) also found in March last year that more could have been done to reassure the complainant that she would be supported through the prosecution process.

The force also accepted an ‘even more proactive’ approach could have been taken to seeking to explore intelligence about other alleged offending by Savile.

For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, September 25.