Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal has created ‘non-stop’ flow of sex abuse cases, judges tell Chris Grayling

Chris Gralying, the Justice Secretary, says huge spike in sex offence cases since former BBC DJ’s crimes were exposed has put added pressure on prison service

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary Photo: Julian Simmonds for the Telegraph
Judges have said there is a “non-stop” flow of sex offenders passing through the courts since the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal was exposed, Chris Grayling has revealed.
The Justice Secretary said the “heightened awareness” of sex crimes after the historic child abuse inquiry into the former BBC presenter had increased pressure on Britain’s prisons.
Mr Grayling also said claims from Napo, the probation officers’ union, about his reforms being linked to two murders in prisons were misleading.
He also admitted his prison service reform was driven by “financial reasons” and had created “challenges” but said his department was determined to tackle any emerging problems.
The comments came as MPs on the Commons Justice Committee expressed their concerns at the pressures being placed on Britain’s prisons.
Discussing rising prison population, Mr Grayling said the increase must be seen in the context of an unexpected rise in sex offence cases after Savile’s crimes were uncovered.
“The big change that has taken place over the past year or two – the biggest change – is to sex offenders. It looks to me very clear … [that it comes] from the heighten awareness over the last couple of years which started with Jimmy Savile and continued with other things,” Mr Grayling said.
“There is a much larger flow of sex offenders coming through the courts now. If you talk to judges in the courts, if you talk to lawyers in the courts, they will all tell you that they are dealing with far more sex offenders then they use to. I’ve had judges say to me it is kind of non-stop.”
Michael Spurr, the National Offender Management Service chief executive, told the committee there had been more than 900 additional sex offenders in the justice system over the last couple of years.
In late 2012, allegations surfaced of serial child abuse by Savile, who had died a year earlier, and gained widespread media attention amid outrage the claims had not been exposed during his life.
An NSPCC report concluded last year that Savile allegedly committed more than 200 sex offences over a 50-year period including at 13 hospitals and a hospice. More allegations have followed.
During Mr Grayling’s evidence, MPs raised concerns about whether decisions to cut back staff in recent years as prison populations increased had added pressure on officers and inmates.
The probation officers’ union recently said changes to the way offenders are supervised in England and Wales may have contributed to two murders.
The Justice Secretary rebutted the claims, saying: “I have to say that the trade union has on occasions put forward information in a way that has not given, I would have thought, sometimes context, and even the accuracy of the situation.”
During Mr Grayling’s appearance he also appeared to admit the Coalition’s cost-cutting prisons reforms had created new problems.
“I am well aware and I recognise the pressures in the system. A change of the scale that has taken place would be very unlikely to have no effect whatever and it would be very unlikely if it didn’t cause challenges for us to meet,” he told MPs
“But it was taken for financial reasons and it has delivered the financial results. What we’re trying to do is to make sure that we can refine and tweak the system to try and ease the pressures a big change like that obviously creates.”

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