LONDON: Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood is under investigation by police regarding sexual assault allegations that date back 40 years, it was reported on Thursday.
“Detectives from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime continue to investigate four reports relating to allegations of non-recent sexual offences allegedly committed by a man. The offences are alleged to have occurred in London in 1982, 1985, 2010 and 2016. There have been no arrests, inquiries continue,” said London’s Metropolitan Police in a statement on Thursday.
Even though the police did not give any names, sources close to the matter confirmed the investigation.
The DJ has so far denied any wrongdoing.
The police said it was investigating four different allegations dating back to 1982, 1985, 2010 and 2016 allegedly committed in London and appealed to anyone who has been the victim of sexual crime to contact police.
The allegations first emerged in April when seven women that took part in a BBC documentary called “Tim Westwood: Abuse of Power,” accused former radio DJ and TV presenter of sexual assault, and led him to step down from his role at Capital Extra, a British radio station.
Since April, 10 more women have come forward to make claims of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour against the former DJ, now 64.
The BBC has faced intense scrutiny from the public after declaring it has never received “official and unofficial” accusations and has “no evidence of complaints” made against Tim Westwood.
Later, the BBC retreated and acknowledged having received six accusations of harassment and sexual misbehaviour, one of which was reported to the authorities.
The announcement of Scotland Yard comes as the BBC board’s senior independent director, Nicholas Serota, who led a first internal review, said the broadcaster is launching a second independent inquiry in light of the emergence of new allegations and issues.
After receiving the results of the internal review, Serota said: “New allegations and issues are emerging as time passes and more people are prepared to come forward. For this reason the work must continue.”
Gemma White has been appointed by the BBC board to lead the new inquiry to “fully examine what was known about concerns regarding Tim Westwood’s conduct during his time with the BBC,” the BBC said in a statement.
“It is vital that this work is able to command the full confidence of those who have, or may wish, to come forward, as well as the wider public, and it is for that reason the BBC Board believes there should be independent oversight. I have therefore asked Gemma White QC to lead this work.” Nicholas Serota said.
The BBC said it will cooperate with the police and report any new evidence and information to the authorities.