Police: British TV star Jimmy Savile abused 22 students at school

Story highlights

  • Jimmy Savile abused at least 22 pupils at a former girls' school, a Surrey police report says
  • Since Savile died in 2011, he has been exposed as a serial sex abuser and pedophile
  • The abuse at Duncroft school occurred during visits by the TV star in the 1970s, police say

London (CNN)At least 22 pupils and a visitor at a former school for troubled girls in southeast England were sexually abused by the late British TV star Jimmy Savile in the 1970s, a report by Surrey police has concluded.

The report said that at least 46 offenses of abuse occurred, including one rape, at the Duncroft Approved School in Staines, a town to the west of London.
    An initial police investigation into Savile's behavior at Duncroft, a school for socially vulnerable girls, began in 2007 and ended with Savile being interviewed under caution in 2009, when he denied the allegations of 14 pupils.
    A second investigation, dubbed Operation Outreach, was launched in 2012 after a documentary by UK broadcaster ITV revealed that Savile -- once one of the most beloved people in Britain, a radio DJ and television star with big hair, a big cigar and an even bigger attitude -- was a serial sex abuser.
    Since then Savile, who died in 2011, has become one of the most reviled figures in the country as it becomes clear that he sexually abused untold numbers of people over decades.
    The latest revelations about his abuses at Duncroft school come on the heels of other reports detailing assaults by Savile on children, hospital patients or those with mental health problems.
    Operation Outreach found that Savile visited Duncroft at least 16 times between 1974 and 1979, and that he stayed overnight at the school on at least two occasions.
    He was likely to have taken the pupils out unaccompanied by staff on several occasions and was given "significant" access to the school's grounds and buildings, which appears to have been unrestricted and largely unsupervised, the report said.
    Pupils were abused in multiple locations throughout the school, including the principal's office, and in vehicles brought to the school by Savile, police found.
    Of the 23 victims, "ten were abused on a single occasion by Savile," the report says, and "thirteen were abused on at least two occasions."
    The four types of abuse listed in the report are rape, assault by penetration, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and sexual assault.
    The school was closed from late 1979 until 1982, and shut its doors for good in 1991.
    As well as seeking to establish the scope of Savile's offenses at the school, Operation Outreach also looked at what was known by former members of staff there -- and whether any had committed offenses as a result.
    Surrey police submitted a file last year to the Crown Prosecution Service on two of those former staff members, but the agency decided not to bring criminal charges on the grounds there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
    In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Cundy said Surrey police "has always accepted there are things which should have been done differently" in the force's original 2007-2009 investigation.
    But he added those inquiries "predated much of what we now know about Savile and his pattern of abuse."