Scarborough Council has been told not to allow shamed Peter Jaconelli’s associates to go “unpunished”, as a victim claimed he told police about the ex-Mayor abusing children almost 50 years ago.
Council chief Tom Fox, who was the borough’s top policeman during part of Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile’s suspected campaign of abuse, this week praised the courage of their victims for coming forward after the duo’s crimes – dubbed “Scarborough’s worst kept secret” – were aired after their deaths.
But that praise comes as the North Yorkshire Police investigation into the duo’s crimes – in which the force apologised for admittedly ignoring victims – has been been branded a “whitewash”, amid calls for the Police Commisioner to carry out an independent inquiry before a judge over how the force handled the case.
“There can be no doubt that police officers actively prevented some victims from achieving justice,” said county councillor Sam Cross, calling for crime tsar Julia Mulligan to act.
“Sorry is simply not good enough – there has to be accountability if the police are to regain the respect and trust of the community.
“The suspicion remains that some officers, who may now occupy positions near the top of the police hierachy, actively perverted the course of justice.”
Five serving officers – including a senior detective – have been investigated over how the case was handled, while many victims have claimed Jaconelli and Savile were “protected” by police and council staff.
One of Jaconelli’s victims backed this claim up, telling The Scarborough News that he tried reporting the ice cream magnate to police in 1968, over a decade earlier than the date police claim they were first told about Jaconelli.
But his bravery was met with violence.
“I told a detective and he slapped me and told me to shut up,” said the man, who worked at Jaconelli’s parlour, and was one of at least 35 victims.
He claims “fat Jac” would pay him cash to abuse him – while the powers that be turned a blind eye.
“I think nearly every policeman in the town knew what was going on.
“Peter would take these white envelopes to the station and claim he was using it to buy his ticket to the policeman’s ball.”
The former Alderman now lies in an unmarked grave, with Scarborough Council this week revealing that his family had removed his tombstone “outof respect” to his victims.
And the issue of Jaconelli was this week raised at town hall by UKIP’s Mike Ward, to mild groans from councillors.
In reply Cllr Fox said the authority “welcomed” the police’s report into Jaconelli, and “implored” anybody who has fresh information on the former Alderman to take it to the police.
But after Cllr Ward urged the council to commend the work of the local media, including The Scarborough News, in exposing Jaconelli, Cllr Fox fell short of direct praise.
North Yorkshire Police was asked to comment but no response was received at the time of going to press.