Savile report could just be ‘tip of iceberg’

Nothing remains of Jimmy Savile's once extravagant black marble grave except patches of recently laid turf in Woodlands Cemetery, pictured on the day the report into the extent of his abuses was published. Photo by Andrew Higgins 130232a 11/01/2013

Nothing remains of Jimmy Savile's once extravagant black marble grave except patches of recently laid turf in Woodlands Cemetery, pictured on the day the report into the extent of his abuses was published. Photo by Andrew Higgins 130232a 11/01/2013

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The number of cases quoted in the Jimmy Savile police report are “just the tip of the

iceberg,” a Scarborough woman says.

Pauline Carruthers, founder of HOPE, which has been supporting survivors of sexual abuse in Scarborough since 2003, believes that more people are yet to come forward.

The report, published jointly by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC on Friday, stated that 214 criminal offences - including 34 rapes - had been formally recorded across 28 force areas.

Savile’s youngest victim was an eight-year-old boy. The oldest was 47 and most were aged 13 to 16.

Having read the report, Pauline Carruthers said: “I believe there are still people who haven’t got the courage to come forward, perhaps people who haven’t told their partners.

“When you think of the amount of places he’s been to, such as hospitals and children’s homes, I believe there’s a lot more out there.”

Pauline now hopes that some good can come from the report and that procedures will be tightened up across the board.

She said: “The report is good in that it highlights where mistakes have been made. I hope as a country we can learn from it and move forward.

“It just shows that it doesn’t matter who someone is, whether they’re an icon or not, everyone must comply with safeguarding measures.”

Pauline added that HOPE had a huge increase in calls the month after the allegations came out, which has led to an increased number of people waiting for counselling.

She said: “Sometimes when people are triggered it can take six months or a year for them to come forward.

“I think in April and May we’ll get more people coming forward. The knock-on effects will reverberate a lot longer.”

Other people in Scarborough have expressed their “abhorrence” at the scale of Savile’s abuse.

Cllr Tom Fox, leader of Scarborough Council, said having read the report on Friday: “My immediate consideration is that the abhorrence of each and every substantiated allegation is such that a most important responsibility of Scarborough Borough Council is to ensure a motion is presented to our next Full Council meeting on 22 February to remove Jimmy Savile’s Freedom of the Borough of Scarborough honour and ensure his name is permanently removed from all records of the honour.

“We must also acknowledge the courage of and empathise with Savile’s victims and indeed those who were preyed upon by others who came forward to reveal horrendous abuse.”

Scarborough businessman Malcolm Stephenson, who knew Savile for decades, said: “I’d rather forget that I ever regarded him as a friend. I still can’t believe how deceived we all were.”

Funeral director Robert Morphet, who oversaw Savile’s burial in Scarborough and the removal of his headstone a year later, also spoke to The Scarborough News as the report was released.

He said he was in touch with the family and that it would be a “tough day” for everyone concerned.

It is now thought that victims will seek compensation Savile’s estate, the BBC and the NHS, among other organisations.

A lawyer representing dozens of Savile victims, Liz Dux, said all would be pursuing civil claims for compensation.