Inquiry Inquiry Operation Yewtree - Police Investigation into Sexual Abuse Allegations against Jimmy Savile

Alternative Names
  • Savile Investigation
Inquiry Type
Police Investigation
United Kingdom

Key Dates

1955 - 2009
Period of investigation
October 2012 - January 2013
Period of operation
5 October 2012
Announcement date
Final Report


Operation Yewtree was a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations, predominantly the abuse of children, against the late Jimmy Savile (who died in 2011) and others. The investigation was led by the Metropolitan Police Service and eventually became a full criminal investigation involving examination of allegations against many people.

600 people came forward to The Inquiry, with 450 of those relating to allegations of sexual abuse by Savile.

73% of offences reported were against those aged under 18 years. Victims' ages ranged from 8 to 47. 82% were female and most were aged 13 to 16.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), hospitals, schools

The Report of Operation Yewtree identifies reports of offences from Savile when he worked at the BBC, the Leeds General Infirmary, the Stoke Manderville Hosptial and the Duncroft School. The peak offending reported was between 1966 and 1976 when Savile was between 40 and 50 years old. Offences appear to have been mainly opportunistic but there were also elements of grooming and planning. Recorded crimes include 126 indecent acts and 34 rape/penetration offences. The investigation also revealed a significant number of suspects, other than Savile.

The Report notes that it is clear that Savile was "hiding in plain sight and using his celebrity status and fundraising activity to gain uncontrolled access to vulnerable people across six decades. For a variety of reasons the vast majority of his victims did not feel they could speak out and it's apparent that some of the small number who did had their accounts dismissed by those in authority including parents and carers" (Gray and Watt 2013, p. 5).

The Report notes that the investigations saw a significant rise in the level of reporting of past sexual abuse of children. This is understood to be a result of media coverage and increased confidence that victims and survivors will be believed if the report to authorities.

Further Action
This Report did not make speficic recommendations but it did lead to the establishement of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse covering England and Wales.

Inquiry Panel



Final Reports

Acknowledgement: this summary was prepared by Katie Wright, La Trobe University