High-profile sexual abuses cases including that of disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile have led to a 20 per cent rise in reports of historic offences to Devon and Cornwall Police.
Savile, now exposed as a predatory paedophile, is thought to have targeted hundreds of youngsters across the country in attacks spanning from 1955 to 2009.
Investigations have been launched into complaints that four youngsters were abused by the star during visits to the Royal Marines' Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, in East Devon. Another attack is said to have taken place at a mental health facility in Exeter in 1970.
Intense publicity surrounding Savile's case, and investigations into other celebrities, have seen the number of historic reports of abuse rocket. Police said 40 per cent of all sexual offences now reported to them were historic – with a 20 per cent increase (157 crimes) in complaints so far.