SAVILEGATE: Operation Countryman II (2)
- In the second of his Operation Countryman II series of articles investigating corruption in North Yorkshire Police (NYP), TIM HICKS continues his investigation into the cover up over the way Alderman Peter Jaconelli (arguably Britain’s most successful and longest running paedophile) and Sir Jimmy Savile OBE (Britain’s most prolific paedophile) were protected from arrest and allowed to operate unhindered in Scarborough for forty years.
- In a stunning development, the IPCC has today accepted his recommendation that North Yorkshire Police should be directed to review all relevant material and information to establish whether there are conduct matters that should be referred to it. Here is the full story:
Savile Gate: Operation Newtree: The West Yorkshire Police Connection.
The recent publication of West Yorkshire Police’s (WYP) investigation into its failure to arrest Jimmy Savile (Operation Newgreen) in which it exonerated itself from any blame, alleging there was “no evidence” Jimmy Savile was protected from arrest or prosecution by his very cosy relationship with the officers of WYP has raised a storm of indignation and widespread disbelief
Although Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee admitted that:
- There was “over-reliance on personal friendships” between Savile and some officers.
- “Mistakes were made” in handling intelligence. “There clearly was information available that we should have tied together and we did fail victims in relation to tying that evidence together and we should have done.”
- West Yorkshire Police “did fail victims”.
There are still some glaring inconsistencies:
ACC Lee asserts that in spite of the rumour and speculation surrounding Savile’s Friday Morning Tea Club Meetings which took place with senior police officers while they were on duty most Friday’s for twenty years at which according to Savile complaints against him were destroyed (by the police officers that were supposed to be investigating him) “no evidence has been found of any police impropriety or misconduct.” This of course ignores the facts that:
- The IPCC is investigating an unnamed WYP Inspector who is alleged to have acted for Savile.
- The Inspector referred to the IPCC received “advice” from his supervisor at the time.
- The circumstances surrounding the processing of allegations about Savile in 1998 (Paragraph 7.20) have been referred to the IPCC.
- Inspector Mick Starkey, acted as Savile’s driver and bodyguard which may be a breach of discipline because Police Officers are not allowed to perform private security work
- In 2007, Surrey Police asked the West Yorkshire force to check what records it held relating to Savile in connection with its investigation at Duncroft School and an inquiry into suspected offences dating back to 1964. The latest report said that even after it had received this request, “WYP continued to use him as part of local crime prevention campaigns’.
Currently it appears that 76 crimes involving 68 victims were committed in the WYP area relating to Savile and 72 of those crimes were in Leeds where his police connections were the closest. The youngest of these victims was five years old at the time and eight others were aged nine or under. Incredibly WYP claimed none of these crimes were reported to the force before Savile’s death.
If I had to summarise Operation Newtree with a phrase, it would be: “Not enough chalk in the whitewash”.
However, the most intriguing inconsistency for me is that the number of Police Officers that attended Savile’s Friday Morning Tea Club has mysteriously decreased from nine to eight. Well why should that be?
Savile Gate: Who is the ninth man?
For some time Real Whitby has been pressing NYP and WYP to confirm the names of the Officers who attended Savile’s Friday Morning Tea Club and which forces they were from. Our requests for clarification on this have been ignored by both forces, although the British Transport Police confirmed straight away that none of their Officers were involved.
Well if all the Officers were from WYP, why should NYP refuse to confirm this and end the speculation with a simple, open, on the record denial, as the British Transport Police did?
Bear in mind that Operation Newgreen is an investigation into “the WYP only” and therefore excludes Officers from NYP. The only conclusion I can draw is that the reference to eight officers attending for meetings is a reference to eight WYP Officers. The ninth officer referred to in the above uPSD article who has been expunged from the Operaton Newgreen report is thought to be a senior Officer from another force, probably the NYP, hence presumably the refusal of either force to deny that Officers of NYP were members of the Friday Morning Tea Club.
Savile Gate: Operation Ornament and the Surrey Police Connection
The best chance of apprehending Savile occurred in July 2007, when Surrey Police commenced an investigation into allegations that Savile had abused children at Duncroft approved School.
The Surrey detectives conducting the investigation obviously meant business and conducted a most diligent and commendable investigation. All of the required steps were taken, they collected evidence, interviewed witnesses, carried out background checks on Savile with all UK forces in July 2007 by asking them for any intelligence they had on him. They then called him in for interview under caution at a police station in Surrey in the normal way. However, the investigation failed totally because:
- A Police Officer referred to as “Inspector 5” of WYP rang Surrey Police and arranged for Savile to be interviewed at Stoke Mandeville Hospital instead of being interviewed at a Police station, thereby preventing a full interrogation. This is the same Police Inspector referred to above that is currently under investigation by the IPCC and was a member of the Friday Morning Tea Club.
- West Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau failed to pass on intelligence about Savile to the Surrey investigation.
- “As Savile’s home police force, WYP would have been the obvious place to collect all such information, but investigation has shown that much of the available information during Savile’s lifetime was never shared with WYP and, when it was, WYP did not connect the events to recognise a potential pattern of offending.”
- “2.14 It is acknowledged that there were gaps in WYP’s knowledge regarding some pieces of intelligence as the force does not have a record of receiving it or the action taken”.
- WYP had computerized intelligence systems since 1993 and a specialized Sexual Offences Intelligence Officer from 1998 onwards, so their failure to amass, collate, analyse and disseminate intelligence (a standard intelligence function) is inexplicable
- North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau failed to pass on the intelligence they undoubtedly had about Saville and his associate Jaconelli, to the Surrey investigation.
There can be no doubt now that NYP knew that Peter Jaconelli, the Mayor of Scarborough was a paedophile and was protected because of his status as a prominent local Councillor, business man and a close friend of Savile. North Yorkshire Police had interviewed witnesses about Savile in 2003 during a major paedophile investigation in Scarborough. This information should have been passed on but was not.
The key issue is: why not? Could it be that the Surrey investigation was deliberately sabotaged by withholding information, or was this simply incompetence?
No one other than Real Whitby has been asking these questions. We have been asking it for months and North Yorkshire Police simply did not comment. It is, in short, maintaining its right to silence.
North Yorkshire Police, The Friday Morning Tea Club, Jaconelli and Savile
It appears possible that a member of NYP was a member of the Friday Morning Tea Club. Although, it is not known if he was a member of the Force Intelligence Bureau, or if he had access or influence over the NYP Force Intelligence Bureau.
However it is known that if Savile had been arrested, he would have spilled the beans on how NYP covered up for Jaconelli at great embarrassment to NYP, possibly leading to disciplinary action against NYP Officers. Hence perhaps the reluctance of NYP to comment and that when the Savile story first broke, the NYP response was denial: “When the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile were publicised, we carried out extensive searches of force records which did not reveal a local connection.”
Subsequently, following the Sunday Express and Real Whitby investigations, this denial of any local connection was promptly removed. Then it transpired that Savile had committed eight offences in North Yorkshire. If the offences of Jaconelli and the other members of the ring that he operated with in joint enterprise in Scarborough were added in, it would no doubt be many, many more.
All information collated and processed by Operation Yewtree relating to sexual offences committed by Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli in North Yorkshire has been passed to North Yorkshire Police for investigation. Like WYP, it appeared that NYP was to investigate and exonerate itself. So I therefore wrote to the officer commanding Operation Yewtree in the following terms:
“I am writing to raise my concern that the IPCC has written to Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Greater Manchester, the Metropolitan, Lancashire and West Yorkshire forces asking them to review all relevant material and information to establish whether there are conduct matters that should be referred to the IPCC and to re-look at all information relating to the late Jimmy Savile.”
I understand the IPCC has asked that each force provides the relevant documents and, if they decide not to record or refer any matters, the rationale for not doing so. However, North Yorkshire Police have been excluded from this directive.
In 2007 an enquiry from Surrey Police on Savile received a response from North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau that he was unknown to them, when in fact he was a known associate of Peter Jaconelli who was known to Police to be a paedophile and North Yorkshire Police had questioned witnesses about Savile in the 2003 Rutter and White investigation. Clearly this was a catastrophic failure of Police intelligence, in that from July 2007 to Savile’s death in 2011, North Yorkshire Police knew Savile was under investigation and failed to provide the intelligence it undoubtedly had on Savile to officers from Surrey.
I would therefore request that the IPCC extend this directive to North Yorkshire Police so this force is treated in the same way as the other forces that failed to apprehend Savile.
Because any investigation into Savile in North Yorkshire must now include the Jaconelli paedophile ring first exposed by the Sunday Express, and the allegations of blatant police corruption surrounding him, I would additionally request that the North Yorkshire investigation is conducted by another force or by the IPCC, to ensure an impartial investigation and avoid the lack of confidence over the recent West Yorkshire Police investigation.”
An IPCC spokesman contacted me today out of the blue with the following comment:
“In the light of information received, the IPCC is writing to North Yorkshire Police to ask them to review all relevant material and information to establish whether there are conduct matters that should be referred to us.
“The IPCC has received the recently published report from West Yorkshire Police arising from the Savile case. The IPCC has received an earlier referral from the force in relation to the alleged actions of a former West Yorkshire police inspector which is being assessed.
“The IPCC is collating responses from a number of forces we have written to asking them to review all relevant material and information to establish whether there are conduct matters that should be referred to us. These forces are West Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Greater Manchester, the Metropolitan and Lancashire police forces. The only referrals the IPCC has received at present are from West Yorkshire. The IPCC has asked that each force provides the relevant documents and, if they decide not to record or refer any matters, the rationale for not doing so.
“All the information received is being assessed by the IPCC and we will make decisions as soon as we are able as to whether or not there are matters in relation to the conduct of individual officers that require an IPCC investigation.”
Most police officers are good, decent, hard working and do a difficult job with integrity and enforce the law without fear or favour to the best of their ability. We must never forget that. In the case of Savile and Jaconelli, some of them in Scarborough and force headquarters did not meet that standard, over a period of forty years.
Although the Police have made a point of going after high profile celebrities, no police officer has as yet been charged with any offence, or disciplined in connection with the undoubted and admitted incompetence and unprofessional conduct that characterised the investigation of Jimmy Savile.
Although it is a disappointment that the Operation Yewtree investigation has been handed over to NYP, which will do everything it can to evade responsibility for its failure to arrest Jaconelli and Savile. Real Whitby will continue to press for an independent investigation into the conduct of North Yorkshire Police and Scarborough Borough Council over the way Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile were protected.
We will continue our investigations.