You cannot put a price on innocence that has been stolen
You cannot put a price on the lives that have been broken
You cannot put a price on a lifetime of shame
But you can make sure it never happens again
Operation Yewtree cops are investigating historic child sex abuse allegations against a further TWELVE public figures.
Unlike previous suspects who were celebrities, the latest accused are senior police officers, politicians, local authority chiefs and senior civil servants.
It is claimed that they either sexually abused child victims, or have been directly involved in covering up offences spread over three decades.
The crimes are said to have been committed in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Names of the suspects have been passed to the police by investigative reporter and criminologist Mark Williams Thomas, whose TV documentary finally exposed Jimmy Savile as a predatory paedophile.
Williams Thomas, a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University, revealed details of the latest investigations on the second anniversary of his ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford, children’s entertainer Rolf Harris and radio and TV presenter Stuart Hall have all been jailed as a result of the police probes that followed the programme. Many others have been arrested.
In an earlier interview with the Sunday Mercury Williams Thomas said that two more British icons were being investigated by Yewtree officers. Since then both Cliff Richard and DJ Dr Fox have been linked to inquiries.
Investigations into both are still ongoing. But Williams Thomas warned that the probe into historic allegations against the 12 new public figures could prove even more difficult, given their positions of power and influence.
They could also be dangerous. As a result of his investigations into Savile, the journalist received a letter bomb and a death threat which were dealt with by police.
“I know of another twelve public figures and that is a minimum,” Williams Thomas, who grew up in Solihull, told the Sunday Mercury as he attended the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
“It just takes one person brave enough to come forward. Then, as the investigations start to unfold, more victims tell their stories.
“The names I have supplied are senior police officers, politicians, local authority officials and senior civil servants – people with a lot to lose.
“After Savile I got letter bombs and death threats. That’s nothing compared to what you will get with politicians and the like.
“There will be dirty games played, a campaign to undermine those investigations. The only way to do it is through a proper inquiry, to have properly skilled investigators to dig out more evidence.
“There are hundreds of victims. Savile had close to 1,000. Offenders don’t offend in isolation, and they continually offend.
“The offences date back to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Some go back to the 1950s. The accused are old people now. If we leave it too long they will die or be dying, or have gone senile.”
Since the Savile programme several reviews have been established, including the Westminster child abuse inquiry, which was announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in July.
The inquiry was ordered to investigate claims that politicians may have sexually abused children in the 1970s and 1980s in a conspiracy by members of the establishment who then used their power to cover up the crimes.
But the inquiry has hit a number of obstacles and Williams Thomas says he is concerned that it will fail to achieve its goals.
Its first chairwoman, retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss, stepped down just days after her appointment following criticism due to her brother, Lord Michael Havers, being the Attorney General at the time of the alleged paedophile scandal.
Former Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, was named as the new head of the independent inquiry last month.
But Williams Thomas said there are concerns that she has not had enough time to begin the inquiry.
“The future challenge for the inquiry is to get an appropriate panel who have the skills to investigate,” said the investigator.
“I have not yet seen that reflected in the appointments so far. There are no people in the field of child abuse. You need people with a record of investigating and holding people to account.
“There are former social workers and police officers who are readily suited to perform these roles but who have not been approached.”
HOW DID JIMMY SAVILE GET AWAY WITH IT FOR SO LONG?
The aftermath of the Jimmy Savile revelations is still unfolding.
The big question remains: how did a revered and decorated BBC DJ and presenter, fundraiser, friend of the Royal Family and papal knight go unchallenged for so long?
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised on behalf of the Government and NHS to Savile’s victims following the publication of the Department of Health investigations in June.
He said that Savile repeatedly exploited the “trust of a nation” for his own “vile purposes” as it emerged that the DJ had boasted of performing sex acts on bodies in at least two hospital mortuaries.
A litany of rape and sexual abuse carried out by Savile in NHS institutions over at least five decades until 2009 was disclosed in 28 official reports.
The reviews detailed how Savile abused dozens of people ranging from staff and patients and toddlers to pensioners, as he visited hospitals as a celebrity fundraiser and volunteer.
It also emerged that members of staff at a number of NHS hospitals had been told of incidents of Savile’s abuse but failed to pass on complaints to senior managers, who could have taken action to protect his victims.
Ongoing reviews include those by the BBC, Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor.
In addition there are investigations into how officers dealt with allegations against Savile within the forces of West Yorkshire, Sussex and Surrey.
Williams Thomas said: “It is a shame that we can never wipe Savile out of history.
“But in years to come we may look back on Savile and say ‘He was a dangerous predatory paedophile, but he enabled change to occur’.
“If it was not for the five women who came forward with their allegations against him, who put their confidence in me to make the programme, it would never have gone to the police.
“They took a huge risk. I took a risk – if it had gone wrong I may never have worked again – but I had confidence in myself and my producer to develop a programme that was easily understood, simple and not sensational.
“The stone over the hole has been pushed to the side. We’ve got to keep pushing it off. It is a quarter to halfway off. There is still a long way to go.
“No matter how long ago, these offences must be reported. They need to be brought out into the open. There may be someone else who has reported the same offender.
“But one failed investigation has the potential to ruin it for every other investigation. That’s why great care needs to be taken, checks made and support given.”