Radio Sandwell News

'Significant' sex abuse arrests due says prosecutor

2013-03-13 15:44:33

Jimmy Savile

A senior prosecutor says "significant" arrests are being planned in the coming weeks of people suspected of sexual abuse.

Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for north-west England, said arrests in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations would continue.

He said child sex abuse was "more widespread than we ever imagined".

Mr Afzal made the comments at a seminar organised by the think-tank Policy Exchange.

The prosecutor said: "There are significant arrests scheduled for the next few weeks."

Scotland Yard has so far detained 11 people under Operation Yewtree, its inquiry into historical allegations of sexual abuse linked to the entertainment industry. The investigation was launched in the wake of revelations that Jimmy Savile subjected hundreds of victims to sexual abuse over four decades.

Those arrested include pop singer Gary Glitter, comedians Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson, DJ Dave Lee Travis and PR consultant Max Clifford. All are currently on police bail pending further inquiries. The Crown Prosecution Service had received a number of files from police officers for its advice on whether charges should be brought.

In a separate investigation, the presenter and football commentator Stuart Hall is facing a trial over allegations of rape and indecent assault, which he denies.

The think-tank meeting was told that greater efforts were being made by police and prosecutors to "build" cases against suspects to increase the prospects of conviction.

Rather than relying on the evidence of one person, corroboration was being sought and police were exploring bringing more "victimless prosecutions". These would be trials in which a victim did not want to co-operate - but other evidence was available to present to a court.

On Tuesday, the Inspectorate of Constabulary said that police forces had mishandled complaints and missed opportunities to apprehend Savile.

In a critical report, it said forces had failed to understand the depth of the late DJ's sexual offending. He is now believed to be responsible for 214 specific crimes, including 32 rapes.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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