Witness Information

Thank you for considering giving evidence to The Dame Janet Smith Review. We have set out below the answers to some of the questions you might have before deciding whether to come to speak to us.

What is The Dame Janet Smith Review?

The Dame Janet Smith Review was established by the BBC on 16th October 2012 to conduct an impartial, thorough and independent review of the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there. The terms of reference relating to Jimmy Savile can be found here

On 4th June 2013, the Review was extended to cover the conduct of Stuart Hall in connection with the BBC. The terms of reference relating to Stuart Hall can be found here

Why have the BBC decided to have a Review?

The main purpose of the Review is to investigate the allegations made against Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall and to take any steps that may be needed to prevent inappropriate sexual conduct in future.

Who do you want to hear from?

Details of who we would like to speak to can be found here

Can I speak to you anonymously?

The Review will not publish the name of anyone who was the subject of inappropriate sexual conduct in the final Reports without their consent. If we need to give details of your identity to anyone else (such as the police), we will do so in confidence.

Other witnesses can ask to remain anonymous in the Reports and we will consider those requests. The starting point, however, is that we are likely to publish the names of others who provide us with evidence.

Will you share the information that I have given to you with other organisations?

The Review may share the information you have provided with the BBC. We may also share the information with other organisations such as the police, for instance, in the interests of the prevention or detection of crime, public protection or overriding public interest. In addition, information may also be shared with other reviews, inquiries or investigations.

How will you record the information I provide?

In most cases, we will discuss the information that you are prepared to share with us on the telephone and record the information you give us in a note. If you would prefer, you can prepare a written submission yourself or ask your solicitor to do it for you. It may be, however, that we will ask you to provide us with more detail and ask you to add to your submission if we think that further information would be helpful.

Will you publish my submission?

Information and submissions will be used for the purposes of compiling Reports which will be made public by the BBC. Information provided by you may be used in the Reports. However, it is not our present intention to publish written submissions.

Will there be an interview?

If we think that your submission needs to be clarified or if we think it would be helpful to discuss the information you have provided or can provide in person, we may ask you to come to the offices of the Secretariat so that we can ask some further questions (a “Witness Interview”).

In some cases, we will ask you to come to a Witness Interview without obtaining a written submission from you or speaking to you in detail first.

If you are based further away, or are unable to travel, we may suggest conducting the Witness Interview by videoconference, rather than meeting in person.

Is it compulsory for me to attend a Witness Interview?

Taking part in the Review is entirely voluntary. However, if we have asked you to come to a Witness Interview and you decide not to do so, we may not be able to give the same weight to your evidence.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes. You would be very welcome to bring one friend or family member with you or, if you prefer, a solicitor.

Can I claim expenses?

If you are asked to come to the offices of the Secretariat to meet us or for a Witness Interview, the Review will refund you for your reasonable standard class travel costs (and those of one accompanying friend or family member) if travelling on public transport or for your reasonable fuel costs. Unfortunately, we cannot refund any other costs, including solicitors’ fees.

Is there an organisation I can speak to in confidence about the abuse that I suffered?

The Review recognises that many of those contacting them will be re-living experiences which are very painful and difficult. We are enormously grateful to all those who feel able to assist us and recognise the great courage required to do so in many cases.

The Review has been consulting with the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), to assist those who may require support either with speaking to us or support more generally. We would encourage anyone who feels that they need help or assistance to contact NAPAC’s free, confidential Support Line on 0800 085 3330. Further information about NAPAC can be found at www.napac.org.uk.

You can also contact the NSPCC on their free, confidential support line: 0808 800 5000 (www.nspcc.org.uk) or the Lucy Faithfull Foundation on theirs: 0808 1000 900 (www.lucyfaithfull.org).

How do I contact the Review?

The Review has a dedicated e mail address which is: info@damejanetsmithreview.com

The postal address for the Review is:

The Dame Janet Smith Review

c/o Reed Smith LLP

The Broadgate Tower

20 Primrose Street

London EC2A 2RS

The Review also has a dedicated voicemail only telephone number on which messages can be left: 0800 808 5298.

There is a separate e mail address for the investigation into Stuart Hall: info@damelindadobbsreview.com. Voicemails can be left on the telephone number above.

Correspondence relating to the investigation into Stuart Hall should be sent to the address above but marked for the attention of “The Dame Janet Smith Review (Hall)”.