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The Boston Globe

World

No evidence that police shielded UK celebrity from sex abuse charges

LONDON — The police force in the hometown of the disgraced British television presenter Jimmy Savile said Friday that there was no evidence that its officers shielded Savile from arrest or prosecution in any of scores of cases of sexual abuse, mainly of teenage girls, that have surfaced since he died in 2011 at age 84.

But the inquiry uncovered evidence of what seemed a cozy and largely unknown network of contacts between Savile and the police and other members of the elite at a social gathering known as the Friday Morning Club in his apartment.

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It also found that even after complaints against Savile were made elsewhere in Britain, the police in Leeds, his hometown, continued to turn to him for help promoting crime prevention campaigns, relying on his celebrity status as an entertainer known for charitable works.

‘‘It seems to me that West Yorkshire Police over the years failed to join up the dots,’’ said Alan Collins, a lawyer representing 40 of the hundreds of people who have made accusations against Savile. ‘‘They had intelligence that something wasn’t right, if I can put it as mildly as that, and, against that background, they were using Savile for crime prevention campaigns and so on.”

The finding after an internal inquiry threw light on his relationship with officers in West Yorkshire, where 68 abuse complaints were filed in a scandal that has rocked the BBC.

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