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How I aim to prevent 'another Savile moment', says Britain's top prosecutor, as he calls for a tougher strategy to bring sex offenders to justiceKeir Starmer, QC, said prosecutors have been ‘too cautious’ in approachHe is expected to admit number of Savile victims higher than first thought
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Keir Starmer, QC, said prosecutors have been ‘too cautious’ in their approach to sex offenders
Police and prosecutors are to scrap existing guidelines for dealing with sex offences to prevent ‘another Savile moment’, Britain’s top prosecutor will say today.
Keir Starmer, QC, said prosecutors have been ‘too cautious’ in their approach and a new tough strategy is needed to bring more sex offenders to justice and protect children from sexual abuse.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is also expected to admit that the number of victims in the Savile case ‘maybe considerably higher than previously thought.’
Police in Operation Yewtree – the investigation into Savile – currently estimate the number of the perverted BBC presenter’s victims number 450.
Mr Starmer said police and prosecutors are ‘still adopting the wrong approaches in cases of sexual assault.’
Mr Starmer said he will replace the 19 practice guidelines that have been introduced over the last 10 years with new single policy for England and Wales.
The raft of measures are intended to ‘draw a line in the sand’ in the way child sex offenders are handled by the authorities.
Mr Starmer said that in future prosecutors and police will be expected ‘explore patterns of behaviour and links to other cases’ instead of just focusing on the account of the victim.
Mr Starmer unveiled the measures with the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on violence and public protection, Chief Constable David Whatton.
A ‘National Scoping Panel’ to review past complaints of sexual abuse not pursued by the police – a move expected to be approved by chief constables this week – will also be set up.
Mr Starmer will say: ‘We cannot afford another Savile moment in another five or ten years’ time’ to an audience of charities, campaigners and officials in London later today.
‘Events in the last 12 months raise fundamental questions about the way in which we investigate and prosecute sexual offences particularly involving children in England and Wales.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is
also expected to admit that the number of victims in the Savile case
‘maybe considerably higher than previously thought’