Authorities looking into the accusations against Jimmy Savile, who died in last year, have identified more than 400 leads and at least 200 potential victims, more than three times the tally only days ago.
The British police said Friday that the allegations of sexual abuse leveled against one of Britain's best-known TV personalities were "unprecedented," with more than 400 leads and at least 200 potential victims, more than three times the tally only days ago.
The disclosure represents a significant widening of the scandal, as victims and accusers overcome decades of reticence to step forward and denounce the former BBC host, Jimmy Savile, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and had often been depicted as a national treasure.
"The public's response to this issue has been astounding," said Peter Spindler, a commander with Scotland Yard. "We are dealing with alleged abuse on an unprecedented scale. The profile of this operation has empowered a staggering number of victims to come forward to report the sexual exploitation which occurred during their childhood."
The accusations against Savile, who died last year at age 84, have stunned many Britons, shattering the image of a TV personality who for decades attracted a young audience through his role as host of two popular BBC programs, "Top of the Pops" and "Jim'll Fix It,' in which Savile promised to grant viewers' wishes.
The accusations first came to light in a documentary broadcast earlier this month on the rival ITV commercial channel. The complaints of abuse of underage girls in hospitals that Savile visited as a volunteer, in children's homes and on the premises of the British Broadcasting Corp., Britain's public broadcaster, have also raised questions about why the station did not move earlier against Savile, whose behavior was the topic of much-discussed rumors among BBC employees.
Earlier this week, Scotland Yard put the number of likely victims at 60. But on Friday, it said, "After two weeks of gathering information ... over 200 potential victims have been identified."
NEW YORK TIMES