NORTH Yorkshire Police missed chances to investigate alleged sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and former Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli while they were alive, it has admitted.

The force has apologised to 35 people allegedly abused by one or both of the paedophiles, and expressed "great regret" that they would never see justice. It admitted there would have been enough evidence against Jaconelli and Savile to consider criminal charges were they still alive.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said: "I think the scale of offending was staggering and I think all of us in modern day North Yorkshire Police were really devastated to find that in the past we had let victims down.

"I've got to stress we're talking about a period of 30 years ago and in the past we missed opportunities to investigate and listen to these people. Devastated is probably the most appropriate word to use."

York Press:

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, left, and Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said the force had failed the two offenders' victims.

The investigation into allegations of sexual abuse began in February, after a regional news programme led 35 members of the public to report offences dating back to 1958.

ACC Kennedy said: "The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive. Today, North Yorkshire Police apologises to the victims who made the brave decision to come forward during the past 18 months.

"It is important that the victims have been able to make their allegations heard, and that their cases have been comprehensively examined by the police, regardless of the passage of time. It is a matter of great regret that, from the outset of the investigation, there was no prospect of true justice being achieved as the suspects are deceased."

ACC Kennedy said the investigation showed "no evidence of misconduct" within the force but said there had been "organisational failure" - mainly around how police staff and officers were tasked to examine files to present to the HMIC and IPCC - which would now be addressed.

He said: "Our responses weren't as thorough as they should have been, in the way we searched our paper and computer records for previous reports, and appointing the right, trained people to search for historic records."

Police said 32 of the cases related to Jaconelli for offences between 1958 and 1998, and five related to Savile and occurred between 1979 and 1988.


The offences linked to Jaconelli included indecent assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, gross indecency and rape. For Savile, the reported offences ranged from sexual assault or indecent assault, to rape.

ACC Kennedy said three of the victims had tried to report allegations against Jaconelli in the past, and two had tried to report allegations against Savile. He said that while there was "rumour and speculation about links between them and other people", there was "no substantial evidence" of links with others.

All victims have been offered support from specialist agencies.

ACC Kennedy said: "I hope the victims have gained a measure of closure from knowing that matters have now been investigated as fully as possible by North Yorkshire Police. It is never too late to report information to the police and seek help and support. Nobody should suffer in silence."

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissionerm, said: "Savile and Jaconelli may be dead, but their victims have been living with the consequences of this abuse for many years. 

"It is also clear that historically, North Yorkshire Police failed these victims. Whilst it is not possible to turn back the clock, I am confident that under the leadership of Chief Constable Dave Jones, who has come to North Yorkshire from elsewhere, any historical issues will be properly dealt with."

Mrs Mulligan said new services for reporting sexual offences had since been instigated, and work was being done to ensure people received specialist support.

She said a comprehensive review commissioned in October, into how North Yorkshire Police now investigates child sexual abuse and exploitation, showed that the force had been able for some time to respond effectively and immediately to allegations.

She added: "Whilst no service is perfect, I do feel able to reassure the public that North Yorkshire Police is today in a strong position to act as is needed and expected."


AN investigation into how North Yorkshire Police responded to historic allegations about Jaconelli and Savile discovered failings in reporting information to higher authorities.

The force referred itself for investigation in April this year, and the watchdog is also looking at whether information held by the force was properly disclosed when requested by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) in 2012, and by the IPCC in 2013.

The IPCC referred the matters back to police to investigate and rectify internally, and ACC Paul Kennedy said the Professional Standards Department had carried out its own investigation and found a number of  issues, including "organisational failure", which had been targeted for improvement.

He said: "There was no evidence of misconduct but there was evidence of organisational failure, with a number of lessons to be learned which have now been rectified for the future.

"This included actions such as clearly defining search parameters when checking historical records and ensuring that the appropriate department conducts such searches. Furthermore all operational meetings must be recorded, ensuring a full audit trail of decision-making throughout the process for openness and transparency."

ACC Kennedy said "there were failings" in reporting some relevant  information, but there was no evidence the force had failed to support Operation Yewtree.

He said the force last week made an additional voluntary referral to the IPCC following enquires linked to the Jaconelli and Savile investigation in Scarborough during the 1980s.

He said the IPCC referred the matter back to North Yorkshire Police to investigate and said an update would be issued "in due course".

Any victim of sexual abuse can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, or 999 if in immediate danger.

Victims can also seek independent advice, support and services from Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 01904 669339 or at