Update – 22nd January 2016
Below is a letter sent by Dame Janet Smith to Exaronews Limited today.
Update – 21st January 2016
Dame Janet Smith does not intend to comment on the contents of a leaked, confidential, early draft of the Report. Dame Janet is very concerned about the impact on the Savile and Hall victims of the decision by Exaro to publish an early draft of the Report without giving any notice and without giving the Review the opportunity to contact victims. The Review continues to make preparations for publication and delivery of the final Report and its conclusions and recommendations to the BBC. Dame Janet will only comment on publication. For the avoidance of doubt, no reliance should be made on the reports circulating today.
Update – 21st January 2016
The Review is disappointed by the decision of Exaro to publish, in breach of confidence, extracts from a leaked copy of an early draft of its Report. That document is out of date and significant changes have been made to its contents and conclusions. The document should not have been made public and cannot be relied upon in any circumstances. The Review will work with the BBC to arrange publication of its final Report as quickly as possible to ensure that accurate and responsible reporting can take place.
Update – 20th January 2016
The Review has been informed by the Metropolitan Police that it is no longer concerned that publication of the Report could prejudice its ongoing investigations. The Review is carrying out final checks in advance of delivery to the BBC and publication. Publication should take place within 6 weeks.
Update – 2nd October 2015
The Review notes further recent press speculation in relation to its findings, all of which is premature and speculative and is not endorsed by the Review. In particular, the recent statement in the media that Dame Janet has changed the conclusions in her Report after receiving objections to her findings is inaccurate.
Publication of the Review’s Report remains delayed solely as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s concerns that publication of the Report could prejudice its ongoing investigations into sexual abuse. There is no other reason for the delay.
Update – 24th August 2015
The Review is aware of recent inaccurate press speculation in relation to its findings, the reasons for the delay to the Report and whether its Report has been delivered to the BBC.
As explained in the Review’s update dated 1 May 2015 below, Dame Janet’s Report is finished. However, in the Spring of this year, the Metropolitan Police informed the Review that it was concerned that publication of the Report could prejudice its ongoing investigations into sexual abuse. As a result, Dame Janet reluctantly took the decision that publication of the Report (and its delivery to the BBC) should be delayed. Dame Janet recognises that this continuing delay will be extremely disappointing to the victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall and other witnesses before the Review, to all of whom she remains very grateful. Publication will take place as soon as possible however it is important that the Metropolitan Police’s investigations and any subsequent possible prosecutions should not be prejudiced.
In advance of publication of the Report, any comments about the Review’s findings are premature and speculative and are not endorsed by the Review. Further, the Review confirms that the Report has not been provided to the BBC.
As soon as a date for publication is known, a further update will be provided.
Update – 1st May 2015
The Dame Janet Smith Review’s Report is now finished.
However, the Metropolitan Police has told the Review that it is concerned that publication of the Report now could prejudice its ongoing investigations into sexual abuse. As a result, Dame Janet has taken the decision that publication of the Report (and its delivery to the BBC) should be delayed. The BBC is aware of, and accepts, this decision.
The decision to delay publication has been made reluctantly. Dame Janet recognises that a further delay will be of particular disappointment to victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall whose accounts are in the Report and other witnesses before the Review, to all of whom she is very grateful. However, it is important that the Metropolitan Police’s investigations should not be prejudiced.
Publication will take place as soon as possible. As soon as a date for publication is known, an update will be provided.
Update – 17th March 2015
The Review has now finished taking evidence and it will not be accepting any new evidence. It has been in contact with 775 people. In the Jimmy Savile investigation, the Review has interviewed 375 witnesses. In the Stuart Hall investigation, the Review has interviewed over 100 witnesses.
Dame Janet Smith’s Report is being finalised. The Review is discussing a timeline for delivery and arrangements for publication of the Report with the BBC. Publication is currently expected in the second half of May 2015. As soon as a date for publication is known, a further update will be provided.
Update – 11th December 2014
The Review continues to be approached by witnesses and to receive evidence that is material to its Terms of Reference. In the light of this, the Report is not expected to be finalised until early 2015. A further update will be provided when a publication date is known.
Update – 15th September 2014
The Review has been in contact with approximately 740 people. In connection with the investigation into Jimmy Savile, the Review has had over 350 telephone conversations with witnesses (all of which have been noted) and almost 190 witness interviews have taken place. In addition, in relation to the investigation into Stuart Hall, the Review has had over 100 noted telephone conversations with witnesses and a further 31 witness interviews have taken place.
While the Review is nearing the end of its work, it continues to conduct interviews and to receive relevant evidence. The Review expects that its Report will be finalised before the end of the year. When a publication date is known, a further update will be provided.
Update – 23rd May 2014
Representatives of the Review attended the recent trial of Stuart Hall in Preston Crown Court. Those proceedings will be considered by the Review, as part of the process of finalising the Review’s Report.
The question has now arisen as to whether publication of the Report should be further delayed until after the forthcoming trial of Dave Lee Travis, which the Review understands is expected to take place in early September.
It will be recalled that, when it was announced that Stuart Hall was to face a second trial, Lancashire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (North West) requested that publication of the Report be delayed until after the conclusion of his trial to avoid any risk that publication might prejudice the fairness of that trial. Dame Janet Smith and Dame Linda Dobbs agreed that publication should be delayed. In any event, it would not have been possible for Dame Linda to complete her part of the Report until the outcome of the trial was known.
Whilst the charges brought against Dave Lee Travis do not fall directly within the Review’s Terms of Reference, the Review understands that they do, in part, relate to his work for the BBC. Dame Janet takes the view that the possibility does exist that publication of her Report may affect the fairness of the Dave Lee Travis trial, just as it was thought it could have been suggested publication would have affected the trial of Stuart Hall.
For that reason and in the interests of ensuring that the independence and fairness of the criminal process is maintained, Dame Janet has decided that her Report should not be delivered until after the conclusion of the trial of Dave Lee Travis. The BBC is aware of and agrees with this decision.
The Review will update its website when a more precise estimated delivery date is known.
Update – 27th March 2014
We have agreed with the BBC an amendment to the Review’s terms of reference in order to allow the BBC to commence an independent assessment of its child protection and whistleblowing policies now. The intention was that the Review’s work into whether the BBC’s current child protection and whistleblowing processes were fit for purpose would commence once the main report had been delivered. However in light of the changes in the Review’s timetable, including the recent delay to the report’s publication at the request of the Lancashire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (North West), the BBC have decided that they wish to undertake an independent assessment of their processes now rather than waiting until later in the year. More information about the BBC’s Review can be found here.
The Review’s terms of reference will now be changed as follows:
Dame Janet Smith will:
- receive evidence from those people who allege inappropriate sexual conduct by Jimmy Savile in connection with his work with the BBC, and from others who claim to have raised concerns about Jimmy Savile’s activities (whether formally or informally) within the BBC; (PART 1)
- investigate the extent to which BBC personnel were or ought to have been aware of inappropriate sexual conduct by Jimmy Savile in connection with his work with the BBC, and consider whether the culture and practices within the BBC during the years of Jimmy Savile’s employment enabled inappropriate sexual conduct to continue unchecked; (PART 2)
- in the light of findings of fact in respect of the above,
consider whether the BBC’s current child protection and whistle blowing policies are fit for purpose andidentify the lessons to be learned from the evidence uncovered by the Review; (PART 3)
- as necessary, take account of the findings of Dame Linda Dobbs in her investigation into the activities of Stuart Hall.
Update – 21st January 2014
The Review recently received a request from Lancashire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (North West) to postpone delivery of its Report until the criminal proceedings against Stuart Hall have concluded in mid-2014.
The Review understands that this request arises from the possibility that it might be suggested that the Report could adversely affect the fairness of Mr Hall’s trial.
Dame Janet Smith and Dame Linda Dobbs appreciate the wish of many (including the victims) that the Report be delivered as quickly as possible. They have, however, considered the request and concluded that, in the interests of justice, delivery of the Report should be delayed. The BBC has been informed of, and agrees with, the Review’s decision.
The Review will update its website when a more precise estimated delivery date is known.
Update – 20th January 2014
The Review has noted recent media comment about the supposed findings in its Report. It is the Review’s practice not to comment on media coverage. However, it is necessary to state that the information reported does not come from the Review and that it is speculative and unreliable.
While the Review fully understands the wish to know what happened at the BBC during the Savile years, the Review is not prepared to give any indication of its findings in advance of the publication of its Report.
Update – 29th November 2013
The Review has been in contact with more than 720 people and continues to be grateful to the public for their support. In connection with the investigation into Jimmy Savile, the Review has had over 340 telephone conversations with witnesses (all of which have been noted) and approximately 140 witness interviews have taken place. In addition, in relation to the investigation into Stuart Hall, the Review has had over 102 noted telephone conversations with witnesses and a further 29 witness interviews have taken place.
Witness interviews are continuing and, as a result, the Review will not be in a position to finalise its report before the end of January 2014.
Update – 4th June 2013
The Dame Janet Smith Review’s terms of reference have now been amended to include an investigation into the conduct of Stuart Hall in connection with his work for the BBC. Please see the terms of reference and explanatory note for more detail on the scope of the Stuart Hall investigation (Terms of reference – Stuart Hall). The opportunity has also been taken to amend the terms of reference for the Savile investigation slightly both to reflect the approach that the investigation has been taking since it began and to ensure consistency with the terms of reference of the Stuart Hall investigation (Terms of reference – Jimmy Savile). As Dame Janet Smith has a potential conflict of interest in relation to Stuart Hall as a result of the fact that she knows personally an individual who was a member of senior management in BBC North West at the relevant time, the Stuart Hall investigation is therefore being chaired by Dame Linda Dobbs DBE.
In connection with investigating Jimmy Savile, the Dame Janet Smith Review has been in contact with approximately 600 people and has had over 310 telephone conversations with witnesses, all of which have been noted. 120 witness interviews have now taken place and a number of these interviews have been with individuals who were subject to inappropriate sexual conduct by Savile. Witness interviews are continuing.
However, the Savile investigation is unable to progress certain aspects of its work as a consequence of a need to wait, at the request of the police, before it approaches a number of potential interviewees whose evidence may be relevant to on-going criminal investigations. It is unclear whether these criminal investigations will lead to prosecutions but, if prosecutions do take place, Dame Janet Smith may need to wait a considerable time before she can approach these potential interviewees.
As a result both of the addition of Stuart Hall to the Dame Janet Smith Review’s terms of reference and the matters referred to above, the timeframe for the production of reports is being extended. Current revised expectations are that a report will be completed towards the end of 2013 and that a second report, which will consider whether the BBC’s current child protection and whistle blowing policies are fit for purpose, will be produced as early as possible in 2014. The question whether the current inability to approach certain witnesses referred to above in relation to the Savile investigation will result in the production of an interim (as opposed to a final) report into Jimmy Savile will be kept under consideration.
Update – 21 March 2013
The Review has been in contact with approximately 450 people and has had over 275 telephone conversations with witnesses, all of which have been noted. To date, in-person witness interviews have taken place with 80 witnesses, a number of whom were subject to inappropriate sexual conduct by Jimmy Savile. Further witness interviews will take place throughout April and May.
Celia Brackenridge has been appointed as Child Protection Expert to the Review. Celia has been a Professorial Research Fellow at Brunel University London since 2005 and, in 2012, was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Update – 18 February 2013
The Review has been contacted by just over 425 people and has made contact with almost 400 of these people so far. The Review has had approximately 250 telephone conversations with witnesses, each of which has been noted. There have been in the region of 60 face to face witness interviews and further in-person interviews are scheduled over the next few weeks.
The Review is close to finalising the appointment of a Child Protection Expert. It continues to liaise with the BBC in relation to the provision of copies of programmes and relevant documentation.
The Review team would like to thank all of the witnesses who have given up their time to assist with this important task.
Update – 11 January 2013
The Review has been contacted by more than 355 people and has made contact with over 330 of them to date. The Review has had over 150 telephone conversations with witnesses, all of which have been noted. In-person witness interviews have taken place with 15 witnesses. Witness interviews are continuing.
The Review Team has made site visits to the Shepherds Bush Empire Theatre (which was formerly owned by the BBC)