NORTH Yorkshire Police and the county's Crime Commissioner have asked the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to investigate its handling of historic child abuse allegations involving Jimmy Savile and his friend Peter Jaconelli.

The voluntary IPCC referral, which follows an internal inquiry, will examine the way the force recorded and responded to child sex abuse reports it received against the two men.

The allegations were made against Savile more than a decade ago. The radio and TV star, who had a flat on South Cliff, Scarborough, died aged 84 in October, 2011.

It will look at how the force dealt with several recent allegations against Savile's friend and former Scarborough mayor, Peter Jaconelli, who died in 1999.

The referral also relates to whether any information North Yorkshire Police held on record about Savile or his known associates was properly and comprehensively disclosed to Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) when it, and other police forces in England and Wales, were asked to do so by HMIC in December 2012 and again by the IPCC in May last year.

Chief Constable for North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones said: "There has been, quite rightly, significant public interest in how the Police Service nationally responded to reports relating to alleged offending by both Savile and his known associates.

"In order to determine whether North Yorkshire Police responded appropriately to information we may have received, I instructed that an immediate review all of our systems be completed to ascertain if there was any recorded information in relation to Savile, Jaconelli and their known associates and friends, in respect of any reported offending.

"As a result of this review, I have referred the matter to the IPCC for their consideration.

"It is imperative that the public, especially victims, have confidence in the police, and that we are trusted to record and investigate all allegations of crime that we receive."

North Yorkshire Police enquires have already gained evidence from a number of witnesses.

North Yorkshire Police said that such is the evidence against Jaconelli, had he been alive, he would have been interviewed under caution and a file submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Information has already been referred by the force to Operation Yewtree, the national investigation into allegations regarding Savile's activities.