UK

Jimmy Savile Scandal Triggers Rise In Sex Abuse Reports To NSPCC Helpline

31/08/2013 10:22 BST | Updated 31/08/2013 10:25 BST

The NSPCC says calls reporting sex abuse have almost doubled because of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Experts said the fallout from the revelations surrounding the disgraced presenter was "changing the way people react to abuse".

The children's charity its helpline had received 594 reports in June and July this year, compared to just 323 in 2012.

John Cameron, head of the helpline, said: "The number of calls we took this summer was significantly higher than last year.

"Eight months on, we can confidently say that the Savile scandal is changing the way in which people react to abuse.

"There appears to be a clear shift and the public now seem better equipped and more confident to report their concerns.

"It's very encouraging to see that adults, including those who don't have direct responsibility for children, take action if they think a child is at risk.

"The Savile scandal has shocked the nation but has also increased public awareness of how difficult it is for children to speak out and how crucial it is for adults to report any suspicions or concerns they have straight away."

The figures released today are the number of calls that were referred to police and social services.

Savile was unveiled as one of the UK's most prolific sexual predators by police who launched a national investigation into abuse claims at the end of last year.

They found that he had abused hundreds of victims over 54 years, including at schools, hospitals and a children's home.

Britain's top prosecutor, Keir Starmer, also admitted that Savile could have been charged over offences against at least three victims before his death in 2011.