The leader of Scarborough Council has promised that it will posthumously strip former mayor Peter Jaconelli of all his civic honours should a police investigation conclude there is evidence to support the claim that he sexually abused children.
Cllr Tom Fox, himself a former policeman, told Friday’s full council meeting that the police investigation into the honorary alderman would be concluded shortly.
He said the police had spoken to the alleged victims and the findings of the investigation would soon be known.
He said: “Following allegations received some 12 months ago by this council into serious sexual offending against children and young people by the late Peter Jaconelli, this council immediately engaged with North Yorkshire Police to ensure a proper criminal investigation could be undertaken.
“The reports received by the council were forwarded to the police and a police investigation commenced. Subsequently, further reports were submitted to the police as a consequence of publicity given to the allegations.
“These reports are being considered by the police as part of the ongoing investigation, which was triggered by the council’s initial referrals.”
He added: “There should be no doubt that, if the police conclude that these allegations are credible and founded, as leader of this council I will not hesitate to bring forward a motion seeking the removal of all civic honours from the offender.”
He also stressed the council’s support for the victims of sexual offences and praised their courage in reporting such crimes.
Last year the council formally stripped civic honours granted to Jimmy Savile in the wake of the police investigation into the disgraced broadcaster’s offending.
The DJ, who was friends with Jaconelli, had previously been given the freedom of the borough.
The BBC recently highlighted the Jaconelli allegations in its Inside Out programme.