Report: British police made mistakes in Savile investigation
updated 7:15 AM EDT, Tue March 12, 2013
Jimmy Savile sports his Order of the British Empire medal after his 1972 investiture at Buckingham Palace in London.
- NEW: Chief inspector calls on police to improve policies and practices to keep children safe
- Jimmy Savile was one of Britain's best-loved TV personalities
- The former BBC presenter stands accused of being a pedophile
- Alleged sexual abuse victims of Savile are suing the BBC and the Savile estate
(CNN) -- British police made mistakes over decades in their investigation of sex abuse allegations against late BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile, a report released Tuesday said.
The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said not only did police around the country fail to "join the dots," but policies made it difficult for victims to come forward to report the crimes.
Scotland Yard said it welcomed the review.
"It is vital that we learn all the lessons from this landmark case and ensure our systems and processes are aligned to prevent someone like Savile ever committing such criminality again," the agency said in a statement.
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Savile, who hosted popular children's TV programs including "Jim'll Fix It" and "Top of the Pops," was a household name in Britain for decades. He was also well known for his charitable work, having raised millions of pounds, and was awarded a knighthood. He died in October 2011 at age 84.
Police began their latest investigation in late 2012 after a TV documentary broadcast in October sparked a flood of sexual abuse claims against Savile.
READ: Alleged victims to sue BBC and TV host's estate over sex abuse claims
Three months later, police unveiled a report exposing "vast, predatory and opportunistic" abuses by Savile across a span of half a century, involving about 450 victims.
Nearly three-quarters of his victims were children, the police report said, with the youngest only 8 years old. Most, but not all, were female.
The earliest claim against Savile, who was still a household name when he died in 2011, dates from 1955 and the latest from 2009, when he was in his 80s.
Alleged sexual abuse victims of the late BBC entertainer are suing both the British broadcaster and the Savile estate, attorneys for the victims said last month.
In Tuesday's report, Chief Inspector Tom Winsor called on police to improve their policies and practices to keep children safe.
"It is imperative that children and other victims of sexual crimes have the knowledge, the means and the confidence to report what has happened to them," he said.
READ: Jimmy Savile: National treasure in life, reviled 'sex abuser' in death
CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.
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