Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile has been called the most prolific sex offender in recent history, as 300 victims are identified (Reuters)

Police Commander Peter Spindler has said that disgraced BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was "undoubtedly" one of the most prolific sex offenders in history as he revealed that police were investigating claims by 300 alleged victims.

The Scotland Yard commander said detectives were following 400 lines of inquiry. The Savile case marked a "watershed" moment for victims of childhood sexual abuse, as many are now coming forward for the first time, he added.

Spindler said police had spoken to 130 alleged victims. He said the majority of victims were women, with just two men coming forward to report abuse.

The commissioner also said that while most cases involved Savile acting alone, some also involved other unidentified suspects who acted together.

He did not say how many other people were involved, nor did he say if any of them were still alive.

"There's Savile on his own, and that's the vast majority of what we're being told about, there's Savile and others - and it's the others, if they're living, we can look at them," Spindler said.

His comments were echoed by the NSPCC, which said it has witnessed a 60 percent increase in the number of people contacting it with concerns over the abuse of children.

It said it had received 340 calls from adults alleging sexual abuse from when they were children. Savile was named in some calls.

Peter Watt, director of child protection advice and awareness at the NSPCC, said: "The case of Jimmy Savile has caught the attention of entire country. And while we have seen a wave of calls relating to abuse by the late celebrity, as well as calls from other adults who were abused in childhood, we have also seen a very welcome surge of calls relating to children suffering abuse right now.

Reporting suspicions

"This is especially encouraging as we may be able to help stop this abuse in its tracks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"If one good thing has come out of the Savile case, it's increased public awareness of how difficult it is for children to speak out and why it's vital adults report any suspicions or concerns they have straight away."

No one has been arrested or questioned in the Savile case so far.