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Police unit set up in wake of Jimmy Saville to launch probe into Russell Brand

NewsPolice unit set up in wake of Jimmy Saville to launch probe into Russell Brand

A police unit that was set up in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal are set to probe allegations against Russell Brand.

It comes as another woman has come forward and made claims against the star, who has been accused of rape and sexual assault.

Four women made allegations first disclosed by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Sunday Times.

Since then, more have come forward with allegations, prompting further investigations.

Officers from the specialist unit – Operation Hydrant – which became the Hydrant Programme in July 2022, has confirmed it is supporting the Met Police in its inquiries.

It was set up in 2014 after the Jimmy Saville scandal.

On Saturday, The Sunday Times and a documentary on Channel 4 documented the allegations of abusive and predatory behaviour including rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse.

The claims span a period from 2006 to 2013. A spokesperson for the Hydrant Programme told The Times: “We are working with the Metropolitan Police in support of their response to recent allegations and would urge any victim or survivor who feels ready to report any allegations of sexual assault to come forward and speak to officers.”

Officers working as part of the operation collected more than 9,300 alleged suspects by March 2022.

250 of these were people with a “public prominence” – making up three percent of everyone who had been notified to the organisation.

58 of these were from TV, film or radio, 40 were from the sporting world, 37 were national or local politicians and a further 30 were from the music industry.

Saville’s reign of abuse dated back to 1959 when he raped a 13-year-old girl before attacks took place in “corridors, canteens, starcases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises”.

21 of Saville’s victims were aged 15 or younger – with the youngest being eight.

It is understood the investigation spoke to more women than the four alleged victims who featured in the documentary, but the others eventually decided they did not want to take part.

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