IF there were any doubts surrounding the insatiable dark appetites of Jimmy Savile, the shock and dismay with which seasoned child protection officials greeted yesterday’s report by the Metropolitan Police and the NSPCC (see my report in today’s Scotsman below) has driven home some very uncomfortable truths.
His craven opportunism claimed far more victims over the course of six decades than first thought. The likelihood is that more will emerge, and we should hope they find comfort in catharsis, having been denied justice.
Focus will now inevitably turn towards the flurry of compensation claims in what may become the largest action for child sex abuse in British legal history, targeting the Savile estate, the BBC, the NHS, and even the myriad police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service who time and again, refused to give credibility to those making serious allegations against a national institution.
“The question of redress has no correct answer in such a complex and emotive case, but it ought not to be exclusively defined in terms of financial compensation”
The question of redress has no correct answer in such a complex and emotive case, but it ought not to be exclusively defined in terms of financial compensation. Those who spoke out in vain decades ago must have the opportunity to be listened to, ideally by a commission or panel. Their testimony may not bring Savile to account, but if we are to counter the growing idea that he “got away” with a lifetime of abuse, such small steps are vital.