How ‘the Savile effect’ helped other victims

As the vile true identity of Jimmy Savile emerged, a probe has revealed that the number of Scarborough sex crimes shot up.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th October 2014, 11:00 am
Scarboroughs Esplanade view near Saviles property . pic Richard Ponter144031
Scarboroughs Esplanade view near Saviles property . pic Richard Ponter144031

In what has been dubbed “the Savile effect”, the town’s police dealt with a sharp rise in victims coming forward to report alleged sex crimes.

And a local charity which was inundated with pleas for help from the victims of the DJ’s sordid spree claims that many would still be suffering in silence if the abuse claims had never come to light.

“The fact that people have the courage to come forward is probably the only good thing to ever come from Savile,” said Pauline Carruthers, founder of the charity Hope.

The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police, and comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the Savile revelations.

Within days, Savile’s reputation as a charity hero was in the gutter, as hundreds of alleged victims spoke up against the predatory paedophile.

Now exclusive figures disclosed by the force following a request by The Scarborough News show that the number of sex crime cases in Scarborough alone rose by eight per cent in light of the revelations.

The increase came in the 18 months following the DJ’s death in October 2011, and was up on the same period prior to his death. And Pauline estimates that her charity has helped over 1,000 victims of abuse since Savile’s death.

“I think people who once would have locked all this away now feel they have to come forward, because every time they pick up a paper or turn on a TV, there are abuse cases right in front of them.

“It’s right there in their faces, so they feel they have no choice.

“And we are just as busy now as we have ever been.

A major factor in that is the number of abuse “survivors” from areas such as Bridlington coming forward, areas that once had no immediate support in place, but now account for roughly one in five calls to Hope.

Only a handful of the calls dealt with by Hope were from victims of the disgraced TV presenter, but Pauline said: “It’s his legacy, and his actions are still being felt even today.

“We are as busy now as we have ever been, and we are desperate for more volunteers.

“We all want to help but 
everyone here is overworked – and it’s all because of Savile.”

However, North Yorkshire Police has refused to disclose certain information about Savile, including details about Savile allegations made to the force and how many complaints it has received about its conduct.

The force stated disclosing any information it has on the case could “jeopardise” ongoing investigations.

The probe comes on the back of another Savile investigation by The Scarborough News, which found that “sick” T-shirts making light of Savile’s crimes were being sold online, as part of a ghoulish market in memorabilia that has spring up on the back of his criminal revelations.

After accusations the internet firm redbubble were “cashing in” on the plight of his victims by stocking the T-shirts – which they classed as “art” – it withdrew them from sale following pressure from sex abuse campaigners and victims.

Redbubble CEO Martin Hosking said: “We have removed content that we believed to be outside our guidelines.

“Work that glorifies or trivialises violence is not permitted.”