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Jimmy Savile abuse claims spark investigation at Barnardo’s children’s homes in Redbridge

Jimmy Savile. File picture: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire Jimmy Savile. File picture: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Thursday, March 27, 2014
2:12 PM

Claims Jimmy Savile abused children at Barnardo’s homes in Redbridge are being investigated.

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The government has ordered inquiries after more allegations about Savile’s historic crimes came to light in an ongoing probe by the Metropolitan Police.

Police have said the former BBC DJ and presenter, who died aged 84 in October 2011, abused more than 200 victims over six decades.

Barnardo’s operated several children’s homes in Redbridge and is headquartered in Barkingside, where Dr Barnardo started his children’s “village” in the 1800s.

The Department for Education would not confirm which homes were under investigation, listing them only as “Barnardo’s children’s home - name unknown - Redbridge, north-east London”.

In a written statement, education secretary Michael Gove said the allegations date back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

He added: “[We will] ensure that investigating organisations take all practicable steps to establish what happened and why at the time of the incidents, and any lessons there might be to inform current safeguarding practice in our schools and children’s homes.”

Barnardo’s, which is one of the largest children’s charities in the UK, will carry out the investigation and the House of Commons will be kept updated on progress.

It was one of 21 children’s homes and schools that will be investigated in Yorkshire, Manchester, Kent, Surrey and Devon.

Last year, a police report said Savile had been a “prolific, predatory sex offender” who was able to hide in plain sight while abusing his victims.

Although many made allegations to authorities at the time of the offences and more recently, in many cases they were not taken seriously.

Savile had a stint as manager of Ilford Palais in High Road in 1959 and ran records-only dance sessions on Monday nights which were said to be popular with teenagers.

In a 1966 interview with the Recorder, he was quoted saying: “Some of the happiest days of my life were spent in Ilford.”

A criminal investigation, Operation Yewtree, was launched in October 2012.

A Barnardo’s spokesman said: “Barnardo’s takes extremely seriously any allegation of historical abuse from adults who were once children in our care.

“We will be working closely with the Department for Education to look into the allegations of which they have recently made us aware.”

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