BBC spent more than £200k on private detectives post-Savile 'to assist in extracting archived emails'

The BBC spent more than £200,000 on private detectives to assist with the Pollard Review into the Jimmy Savile scandal, it has emerged.

The Daily Mail has reported that US firm Kroll and "a number of other third parties" were paid for investigations after the Savile scandal in 2012.

The £227,292 was paid for "technical support to assist in extracting archived emails", but the BBC denied that this equates to "spying on staff emails".

Staff contacted for the Pollard Review into the Savile scandal were warned that an “electronic search of the BBC archive may be undertaken”.

A BBC spokesman said: “Work was undertaken to search specific archive emails for the Pollard Review with the prior knowledge of staff concerned, it would be ludicrous to suggest their emails were secretly monitored.” 

The revelation about the cost of private detectives, obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Mail, follows news last week that the in-house BBC Investigation Service has monitored the email accounts of 81 employees since 2012.

According to the Mail, this relates to the leaking of confidential information as well as possible fraud, harassment and bribery.

Some 14 inquiries have been made by the service about information leaks since 2012.

The BBC told Press Gazette that these inquiries should be considered separate from the work of private investigators because they are done on an in-house basis.

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