450 ‘victims’ line up against Savile as police arrest Dave Lee Travis

DJ Dave Lee Travis has reportedly been arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
DJ Dave Lee Travis has reportedly been arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.
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DJ Dave Lee Travis has reportedly been arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.

A man in his 60s, who lives in Bedfordshire, was held at 7.45am on suspicion of sexual offences.

Jimmy Savile.

Jimmy Savile.

Scotland Yard said the allegations against him do not directly involve Savile, and are classed under the strand of their investigation termed “others”.

The reported arrest of the former Radio One star, from Leighton Buzzard, came as the Metropolitan Police revealed they are now dealing with around 450 potential victims, the majority of whom claim they fell prey to Savile.

This has risen from around 300 possible victims the force said they were dealing with last month.

Officers are looking at three strands within their inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others.

Most of the “others” allegations have been made against people associated with the entertainment industry.

Ex-rocker Gary Glitter, comedian Freddie Starr and a 73-year-old man have already been arrested and bailed in connection with the investigation.

A 1977 episode of Top Of The Pops featuring Travis was due to be shown on BBC4 tonight but has been pulled.

A BBC spokesman said: “In the light of today’s news, we have postponed tonight’s Top Of The Pops.

“In its place we are showing next week’s edition of TOTP presented by Kid Jensen.”

Last month Travis vigorously denied allegations that he groped two women while in BBC studios.

One alleged that he had put his hand up her skirt, while the other said he had “jiggled” her breasts.

Children’s charity the NSPCC said today it had received 236 calls about Savile, an average of five per day, since the first sexual abuse allegations emerged.

The number of contacts made about other claims of sexual abuse has trebled in the last month, rising to 550.

Director of the NSPCC’s helpline Peter Watt said: “It’s crucial that people continue to come forward, whether they have information about Savile or anyone else. Our prime focus has to be on protecting children, particularly those unable to speak out themselves, and bringing offenders to justice.

“Sometimes people wait months or years before reporting abuse but we would urge them to act quickly so they can get help as soon as possible. While the whole Savile episode has been distressing it has also led to more victims of abuse seeking support, which is positive.”

The former judge leading the BBC inquiry into the Savile scandal has launched an appeal for witnesses.

Dame Janet Smith, who is reviewing the corporation’s practices during the Savile years, called on potential victims, witnesses, people who worked with the TV presenter and senior staff at the time to assist the investigation.

According to the inquiry’s website, the review also wants to hear from people “who were familiar with the culture or practices of the BBC” in terms of “preventing or enabling the sexual abuse of children, young people or teenagers”.

In addition, the Department of Health is investigating its own conduct after appointing Savile to head a taskforce at Broadmoor in 1988.