A charity said West Yorkshire Police officers were “groomed” by Jimmy Savile – after an internal inquiry found no evidence the force covered up his crimes.
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) said cops were “seduced” by the former entertainer’s celebrity status.
Chief executive Pete Saunders, chief executive of Napac, said: “What screams out from the report is that Jimmy Savile groomed police as well as grooming many other people. Of all the people who shouldn’t have been groomed, your friendly local police force are top of the list.
“I think they, like a lot of people, were starry-eyed and seduced by his celebrity status.”
Mr Saunders was speaking after West Yorkshire Police published the findings of a probe into Savile and his relationship with the force. The inquiry, dubbed Operation Newgreen, revealed that 68 abuse victims had now been identified in West Yorkshire.
While the report highlighted an “over-reliance on personal friendships” between Savile and some officers, it said there was “no evidence” Savile was ever protected from arrest or prosecution by police.
Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee said some officers had forged close friendships with Savile and may have been duped by his public persona.
She added: “Paedophiles are manipulative, coercive people.
“That’s how they are able to commit their crimes and I can’t see that police officers would be resistant to that if they haven’t got information to tell them anything to the contrary.”
Solicitor Alan Collins, from law firm Pannone, is representing 43 of the disgraced DJ’s victims. He said the report “failed to adequately address the relationship West Yorkshire Police enjoyed with Savile and how this influenced their judgement either collectively or on the part of individuals”.
He added: “Were it not for those relationships the question must be asked, would the force’s attitude to Savile have been different?”