Detective quizzed over probe into Savile-Jaconelli

Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli
Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli

A North Yorkshire detective who dealt with a sex crime allegation against Jimmy Savile and ex-Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli has been served with a misconduct notice.

He is one of five serving officers who are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over how the claims were handled by the county’s force.

The new probe relates to how the force handled information in 2002 from a woman in her mid-40s regarding an incident with Savile when she was 15, and how the force treated two disclosures made by a serving prisoner about Jaconelli in December 2008 and January 2009.

IPCC deputy chair Sarah Green said: “The investigation is examining whether the North Yorkshire Police response to the disclosures was in accordance with national and force policies on crime recording, intelligence handling and dealing with victims of sexual abuse.”

The serving Detective Sergeant has been issued with a misconduct notice, and has been interviewed by an IPCC investigator, the watchdog said.

It comes after The Scarborough News revealed in 2012 that two women claimed police officers had quizzed them about Savile as part of an investigation into a suspected paedophile ring that was operating in the town in the 70s and 80s.

Both women, who contacted the newspaper separately, said they were visited by detectives in 2003 and questioned about the group, that was believed to have operated around the seafront arcades.

They said police were linking two prominent Scarborough businessmen, including Peter Jaconelli, to the investigation and were told Savile was also a suspect.

One of the women, who was a young girl at the time the abuse was alleged to have taken place, said: “A police man came to my house and asked me about events that happened and Savile’s name was mentioned. I asked him about this and he said he couldn’t say anything and nothing came of that.”

However, when the Scarborough News contacted North Yorkshire Police, it denied any record of an investigation taking place.

At the time a police spokesman said: “We can only go by the information we have available, therefore it is not possible for North Yorkshire Police to verify or comment directly about the two anonymous victim accounts given to the Scarborough News.

“Since the serious allegations about Jimmy Savile were publicised nationally two weeks ago, we have carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection.

“However, following the coverage, we have had two women come forward about alleged sexual offences committed by Savile that occurred in Scarborough in the late 1960s and the late 1980s.”

In 2013, a former borough councillor told The Scarborough News he was “propositioned” at the age of 14 by former mayor and ice cream king Jaconelli.

Geoff Evans claimed the late 21-stone politician inappropriately embraced him when he visited his ice cream parlour in the early 1960s.

Mr Evans believed Jaconelli preyed on young children during the 1950s to 1970s and possibly beyond.

He claimed authorities, including the police and council, were aware of the issue but did not take any action

The new IPCC probe comes after the force referred itself to the watchdog in April over the way it responded to past child sex allegations levelled against Jaconelli, who died in 1999, and Savile, who died in 2011.

That investigation included whether any information it held on record about Savile or his known associates was properly and comprehensively disclosed to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary when it, and other forces, were asked to do so in December 2012 and again by the IPCC in May last year.

An IPCC spokesman said following an assessment of the details, those matters “have been sent back to the force to deal with”.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “To ensure maximum transparency in the way North Yorkshire Police dealt with information and disclosures regarding alleged historic sexual abuse in Scarborough, North Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC and is fully co-operating with their ongoing independent investigation.

“In respect of the matters which were referred back to North Yorkshire Police by the IPCC, these are currently being investigated and a decision will be made in due course on how to deal with those matters.

“While these enquiries are active it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

North Yorkshire Police is among several forces under investigation by the IPCC in connection with Savile, with a former Inspector from West Yorkshire Police interviewed under criminal caution, two officers from Sussex Police served with gross misconduct notices, two more with misconduct, and a former Detective Inspector from Surrey Police also currently being investigated.