Focus Must Remain On Helping Those Affected
A legal expert has urged that the release of two new reports into the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal must lead to improvements in the handling of such claims and warned that the emotional impact on victims must not be forgotten.
The new Giving Victims A Voice report published by the Metropolitan Police and the NSPCC revealed that 214 criminal offences have been recorded across 28 police force areas in which Savile has been named a suspect.
It also revealed that the reported incidents covered a time period of more than 50 years, with the alleged offences taking place predominantly in both Leeds and London. In total, incidents were reported across 13 hospitals including Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary and Great Ormond Street.
In a separate report also released today (January 11th), the Crown Prosecution Service stated there was nothing to suggest decisions made in 2009 to not charge Savile over four complaints made in relation to Surrey and Sussex were consciously influenced by any improper motive.
It did state however that further action may have been possible if a different approach had been taken.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist child abuse lawyers have been contacted by a huge number of people in relation to the high-profile allegations made against Savile in recent months, as well as by those encouraged to come forward about other claims since the revelations emerged.
Tracey Storey, a Partner and expert in child abuse claims at Irwin Mitchell, said: “While the release of this report will be a relief to victims and is a sign the scale of the problems is well and truly out in the open, it must be remembered that for many the past few months has been a difficult and emotionally draining time.
“Nothing can be done to right the wrongs that these people have endured and lived with for many years, but it is important now that the continuing focus remains on them getting the support they need to deal with the huge psychological impact that the abuse they suffered would have caused.
“For child abuse victims, it is often incredibly difficult for them to come forward and the failure of authorities to treat such issues properly in the past may have only made it much more difficult for them. In some instances, it will have prevented some victims from coming forward at all.
“It is also absolutely vital that important lessons can be learned from these latest reports, particularly the findings related to the failure to prosecute and the suggestion prosecutors did not take claims seriously enough.
“The investigation and subsequent reports into these appalling problems must lead to significant improvements not just in terms of protecting youngsters from abuse, but also ensuring that claims made are always treated seriously and fully investigated.”
The police and the NSPCC have concluded that Savile was one of the UK’s most prolific sexual predators and the extent of his crimes unprecedented. He was described as an opportunistic individual who used his celebrity status as a powerful tool to abuse.
Our child abuse lawyers are committed to pursuing cases to the best possible outcome, without causing any additional psychological trauma to those affected. Call 0370 150 100 to talk confidentially to someone about making a claim or visit our Abuse & Criminal Injury Claims page for more information.