Jimmy Savile report finds ‘culture of fear’ stopped BBC employees reporting abuse

Dame Janet Smith publishes report into historical sex cases at the BBC

Dame Janet Smith’s report into the BBC and to what extent Jimmy Savile was known to be abusing children has been revealed this morning.

Smith’s review of the BBC found that some staff were aware of Savile and his behaviour, however nobody reported it to their managers. Therefore she “found no evidence that the BBC as a corporate body was aware of Savile’s conduct.”

72 victims were found to have been abused on BBC property, including 8 rapes. Smith discovered that a “culture of fear” prevented those who knew of Savile’s crimes taking them to their bosses.


Rounding up her investigation, Smith added: “My conclusion is that a number of BBC staff were aware of specific complaints about Savile’s conduct and in two cases were aware of his sexual interest in teenage girls, some of whom might have been underage. All of these people ought to have reported their awareness to their line managers or to someone in a more senior position. None of them did so. The result is that I must conclude that there is no evidence that any senior member of staff (of Head of Department status or above) was aware of Savile’s conduct. It follows that I have found no evidence that the BBC as a corporate body was aware of Savile’s conduct.”

Savile worked for the BBC from the early ’60s until 2007. Smith’s report was ordered in 2012 and was released alongside a separate report into the conduct of another BBC presenter, Stuart Hall.

The BBC Trust published a statement in response to Smith’s report, saying: “No one reading the reports can be in any doubt that the BBC failed [the victims]. It failed, not just them, but the public, its audiences and its staff.”