‘Jimmy Savile police unit’ helping Met Police with Russell Brand investigation

Russell Brand denies the allegations (PA Archive)
Russell Brand denies the allegations (PA Archive)

A national police unit set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal to investigate “non-recent” sexual offences is helping the Met over the Russell Brand allegations.

A spokesman for Operation Hydrant confirmed that it was supporting the Metropolitan Police after claims of sexual assault were unveiled in a newspaper and documentary investigation, the Times reported.

Four women have alleged that Brand sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2013, when he was a BBC and Channel 4 presenter and then a Hollywood actor. He vehemently denies the claims, saying all of his relationships were always consensual.

A spokesman for Operation Hydrant told the publication: “We are working with the Metropolitan Police in support of their response to recent allegations, and would urge any victim or survivor who feels ready to report any allegations of sexual assault to come forward and speak to officers.”

After the claims were aired, the Metropolitan Police received a report of an alleged sexual assault in 2003 in Soho.

Operation Hydrant  was set up in 2014 to help coordinate investigations into abuse allegations against “people of public prominence” or that is alleged to have taken place in an institution

The unit has classified 250 suspects, including 58 people from the world of television, film or radio, as public figures, reported the Times.

YouTube, where Brand has a channel, suspended his ability to make money from the videos earlier this week in the wake of the claims.

He has been estimated to make between £2,000 and £4,000 per video on his YouTube channel where he has more than six million followers and broadcasts daily.

Both the BBC and Channel 4, where Brand worked as a presenter during the time period covered by the allegations, have launched probes.

Tim Davie, BBC Director General, has questioned whether there should have been more scrutiny of Russell Brand at the corporation.

Brand was forced to leave his Radio 2 show in 2008 after an outcry over vulgar prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

Mr Davie said on Wednesday: “With hindsight, when you hear about things coming out, you ask: ‘Could you have done more? Could you have asked more questions?’”

Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon also said on Wednesday that the allegations made against Brand are “horrendous" and that the industry needs to confront bad behaviour.