Scotland Yard will “work closely” with the BBC as it takes the national lead in assessing allegations against late TV presenter Sir Jimmy Savile, the force said tonight.
A growing number of victims have come forward to allege that he sexually assaulted them after five women took part in a documentary claiming that they had been abused.
In the film, screened last night, the alleged victims accused the Jim’ll Fix It presenter of sexually assaulting them, some while on BBC premises.
MP Anne Main has written to Lord Justice Leveson asking him to investigate how the BBC handled the allegations as part of his inquiry into press standards.
It has emerged this week that Surrey, Sussex and Jersey Police received complaints about Savile in the past but concluded there was not enough evidence to pursue them.
Scotland Yard is currently considering a number of allegations, including an historic rape claim referred to them by Surrey Police, and Northamptonshire has been contacted by two alleged victims.
The Metropolitan Police said the assessment of claims will be led by Detective Superintendent David Gray from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Command, and that a formal investigation had not yet been launched.
The force issued a statement which said: “Our priority will be to ensure a proportionate and consistent policing response putting the victims at the heart of our inquiries. It is too early to say how many individual allegations there are, and we will be making contact with all those concerned in due course.
“We will be working closely with the BBC investigations unit. Anyone else with information is urged to make contact with their local police so that any further information can then be passed to us.”
Scotland Yard was appointed to lead the assessment after the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) looked at the claims.
An Acpo spokeswoman said: “Following an initial assessment of a number of allegations made against the late Sir Jimmy Savile, a decision has been made to appoint a lead force to manage the police and child protection response. The Metropolitan Police Service has been appointed as the lead force.”
Police across the country have issued advice to anyone who thinks they might be a victim to get in touch with their local force or children’s charity the NSPCC for support.
The documentary featured historic accounts, which detailed how the presenter allegedly targeted girls in his BBC dressing room and private Rolls-Royce.
In Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, a total of five women claimed they were indecently assaulted by the TV and radio personality when they were schoolgirls in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Two of the alleged victims said they first had sexual relations with the TV and radio personality when they were 15 – with a number of the indecent acts taking place in his dressing room at BBC television centre.
Another two women who attended Duncroft Approved School for Girls, a now-closed children’s home in Surrey, claimed they were targeted by Sir Jimmy when he regularly visited the school in the 1970s.
The revelations came after former Duncroft pupil Karin Ward, another alleged victim who waived her right to anonymity, claimed the star would ply girls with gifts and have sex with pupils as young as 14.
Singer Coleen Nolan also revealed that Sir Jimmy suggested she join him at a hotel following a TV recording when she was just 14.
She had been in the Top Of The Pops studio, along with her chart- star sisters, who were appearing on the show.
Ms Main said in her letter to Lord Justice Leveson: “I have concerns that the public would find it incomprehensible that such serious allegations have only been looked at internally by the BBC.”
The broadcaster said it will assist police with investigations into the child abuse claims surrounding the presenter.
A spokesman said: “We have asked the BBC investigations unit to make direct contact with all the police forces in receipt of allegations and offer to help them investigate these matters and provide full support to any lines of inquiry they wish to pursue.”