THE investigation of North Yorkshire Police by an independent watchdog is "the right thing to do", the Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

This week it was announced that the force would be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), over the way it handled historic sex abuse claims relating to Jimmy Savile and former Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli.

The force made a voluntary referral to the IPCC over how it responded to an allegation it received more than ten years ago about Savile and several allegations against Jaconelli, who died in 1999.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said an internal review had found a number of issues in the way the allegations were handled.

She said: "After identifying a number of issues, voluntarily referring the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was the right thing to do. I am confident that, having ordered an external peer review of North Yorkshire Police's processes, the Chief Constable has acted promptly and robustly on receiving the interim findings from that report. We must now wait for the IPCC to determine what happens next.

“In the meantime, on behalf of the public and victims, I want to reiterate our commitment to ensuring they receive the best possible service. The issues raised centre around historical allegations and internal processes. I am confident that the force is dealing with them and they continue to provide an excellent service to the public and victims on a daily basis.”

A police spokeswoman said that if Jaconelli were alive today, the nature of the evidence against him would see him interviewed under caution and a file of evidence would have been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Information has also already been referred by the force to Operation Yewtree, relating to allegations about Savile's activities.